Melbourne [Australia], Mar.30 (ANI): Former Australian Test cricketer Brad Hodge has issued a heartfelt apology to Virat Kohli as well to the Indian fans for his recent nasty comments regarding the Indian skipper's shoulder injury and his participation in the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL). The 42-year-old received a flurry of criticism for his suggestions that Kohli pulled out of the fourth and the final Test against Australia in Dharamsala to save himself from the upcoming tenth edition of the IPL,cricket.com.au reported. Hodge had said that if it was not a serious injury, then the Indian captain should have played the Dharamsala Test, especially knowing that the four-match series was deadlocked at 1-1. "You'd hope as a sportsman that he's seriously injured. If you miss one game of Test match cricket and you're fronting up the next week (in the IPL) ... you'd be pretty dirty if he didn't front up to a Test match and try and win a valuable series against Australia," Hodge had said. "You would think that your captain would get out there and get amongst the fight and get in there," he had added. Veteran Indian batsman Gautam Gambhir, who also leads Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL, had also slammed Hodge for saying that Kohli might have missed the final Test in order to partake in the lucrative T20 tournament. Hitting back at Hodge, Gambhir said, "If you don't know the extent of the injury you should not be talking about it". Hodge, however, has now realized that he might have erred in his judgment with regard to Kohli's injury and posted an apology to the Indian captain and passionate cricket fans on his Twitter account. The former Australian batsman, who will again coach the Gujurat Lions in the upcoming edition of the IPL, said that his intentions were never to harm, criticize or be derogatory towards anyone.
— Brad Hodge (@bradhodge007)
Kohli, who is still recovering from a right shoulder injury he sustained while putting in a dive on the first day of the drawn third Test in Ranchi, is doubtful for the start of the IPL, beginning April 5. After India reclaimed the Border-Gavaskar series 2-1 against the Steve Smith-led side, Kohli revealed that he needs few more weeks to be back in action. "It's still a few weeks to go before I can be 100% on the field. But these things happen in your career. You have to take it in your stride and move forward," he had said after his side clinched an eight-wicket win over Australia. Kohli's Royal Challengers Bangalore will kick start their IPL campaign against defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad. (ANI)