India in Australia: Virat Kohli’s absence after 1st Test will not affect CA financially, says Nick Hockley

India in Australia: Virat Kohli’s absence after 1st Test will not affect CA financially, says Nick Hockley

Cricket Australia interim chief executive officer Nick Hockley believes India skipper Virat Kohli’s absence after the first Test of the Border Gavaskar series will not affect the home board financially.

Virat Kohli will be leading India in the opening Test — the day-night encounter in Adelaide, starting December 17 but will be heading back to India to be with his wife and Bollywood actor Anushka Sharma for the birth of their child. Ajinkya Rahane is all set to lead India in the remaining 3 Tests and the middle-order spot is up for grabs.

India will be facing an uphill battle as Tim Paine’s side will be keen on claiming revenge for the series defeat in 2018-19. With Steve Smith and David Warner back, Australia are a stronger side than the one India managed to beat 2-1 during their last trip.

“We absolutely respect Virat’s decision. We are delighted that he will captain the side in each of the ODIs and the T20s and the first Test,” CA’s interim chief executive officer Nick Hockley said during a chat facilitated by official broadcaster Sony.

“This series is of great importance to world cricket and Australian cricket. It’s a testament to all cricketing nations that we could get international cricket up and running in a safe way. The series will be played in front of large crowds.”

Hockley ruled out the possibility of hosting a full series of day-night Tests in the near future but said the December 17-21 pink-ball opener has gripped the fans.

“What I can say is that day/night test over last 3-4 seasons has become a much-loved feature of the Australia summer. The anticipation and excitement around this first-ever day/night Test against India have taken to a different level, given the rivalry.

“At this stage, we have not contemplated on a full day/night series but certainly Adelaide has become the home of first-day night test in Australia. There is a history there. We expect the Australian and Indian fans to travel for what will be a historic match.”

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