Kohli opts out of remainder of England Test series; Iyer axed

Kohli opts out of remainder of England Test series; Iyer axed

New Delhi: Star batter Virat Kohli has pulled out of the remainder of the Test series against England for personal reasons, the BCCI confirmed on Saturday, ending speculation around the premier player’s availability for the high-profile contest.

Kohli had missed the first two Tests and that he could be unavailable for the remaining three matches was reported by PTI on February 3.

“Virat Kohli will remain unavailable for selection for the remainder of the series due to personal reasons. The Board fully respects and supports Mr. Kohli’s decision,” the BCCI said in a release.

Kohli is currently abroad for pressing personal family matter.

The series is locked 1-1 with India bouncing back with win the second Test in Vizag after the visitors took the series-opener in Hyderabad.

The third match is scheduled to start from February 15 in Rajkot.

That Kohli will be unavailable due to serious personal reasons was well-known but BCCI brass wanted to check one final time if it could avail his services for the final Test in Dharamsala from March 7-11.

“The selection committee always knew that Virat won’t be available for the series and accordingly the contingency plan was kept ready. Everyone in BCCI wants Virat to fulfil his family commitments and then come back with a free mind as and when he deems fit,” a senior BCCI source told PTI on conditions of anonymity.