India skipper Virat Kohli was officially signed by Surrey for the 2018 English county season on Thursday (May 3). Kohli will be available to play all the matches for Surrey throughout the month of June while Team India will commence their all-important England tour on July 3.
As soon as the news broke out last evening, cricket fans and experts started giving their opinions on this huge signing by Surrey. While the majority of people are lauding Kohli for his desire to improve on alien English conditions, there are folks who have a different take on this matter.
In an exclusive interview with Sky Sports, England’s assistant coach Paul Farbrace has said that Virat’s deal with Surrey is not quite a good news from English Test cricket perspective.
“From an English Test point of view, it's probably not fantastic that Virat is going to get in some practice before the series this summer,” Paul Farbrace quoted.
Farbrace, however, was quick to point out that it is a great signing for county cricket on the whole.
“From a county point of view, what a great signing for Surrey. We have all benefited from overseas players in county cricket and any aspiring cricketer who has the chance to share a dressing room with Kohli will pick his brains, so will players from other counties. For Surrey to pull this off and for their young players to spend time with him is magnificent,” he added.
Even before Surrey has finalized the deal with Kohli, former England fast bowler Bob Willis had opposed the signing, saying: "I can't stand overseas players in county cricket".
"It doesn't benefit the players stranded in the second XI year on year and the youngsters. The only way to improve our Test team is to have as many England-qualified players playing in the County Championship as possible. Instead, they're going to pay Kohli, presumably, five figures a match so he can hone his skills in English conditions before a Test series. It's a nonsense. He should be made to suffer and average 30 in England as he has done before. We don't want England starting to lose Test matches at home because we're accommodating all of these visiting players," Willis had added.
On the contrary, former England captain Nasser Hussain has praised Kohli for prioritizing Test cricket despite being the busiest cricketer on the planet.
“Fair play to Virat Kohli .. in a time where some cricketers are reducing their red ball exposure.. the busiest cricketer on the planet is putting it first to prepare for a test series in England .. giving himself the best chance to succeed!!” Hussain wrote on his official Twitter page.
Fair play to Virat Kohli .. in a time where some cricketers are reducing their red ball exposure.. the busiest cricketer on the planet is putting it first to prepare for a test series in England .. giving himself the best chance to succeed!!— Nasser Hussain (@nassercricket) May 3, 2018