There is little time left for Team India captain Virat Kohli to leave for his stint with the English County Cricket team, Surrey, for which the cricketing hero has signed for the month of June. And it has been reported, that while county cricket is not a much celebrated event in England and Wales, Surrey is looking to make the most out of Virat Kohli’s presence, as it has come almost as a blessing for Surrey and it’s players.
Virat Kohli, who is the world’s finest all-format batsman and one of cricket’s very few personalities who have established themselves as the rockstars of modern cricket. There are many advantages that Surrey will be enjoying when they welcome Virat Kohli to their team. For one, the 29-year-old will better those he plays with, and challenge those he plays against. For example, when Surrey meet Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl, Kohli is likely to be alongside Morne Morkel and up against Dale Steyn.
Surrey planning to make the most out of Virat Kohli
Surrey have a few interesting plans in place for Virat Kohli’s stay, something the team have been working on for 18 months. As Kohli will be playing just one day of cricket at the Oval, i.e. homeground of Surrey, the team will be turning all the stones for it.
Similarly, Glamorgan’s visit to Kennington for a Royal London One-Day Cup match in early June is usually a quiet affair every year, except this time when Kohli is featuring for Surrey. In order to market Kohli’s presence heavily, the Surrey Cricket Foundation will be giving 3,000 tickets away to clubs and schools in the county.
Surrey to make sure that audiences are able to watch Virat Kohli
Surrey will make sure Kohli’s non-televised games are streamed online. Their first game of the season, against Hampshire, had seen 18,000 viewers. It goes without saying that it will be exciting to see how much Virat Kohli’s presence could boost the ratings and viewership for the Surrey matches.
Another factor that calls for celebration of cricket is that Virat Kohli is not playing for Surrey for the money. It is reported that Kohli’s brand value is $14.5m, which is more than Lionel Messi. Kohli’s IPL deal is worth £1.8m, which is almost county cricket’s entire salary cap. So we believe the Team India captain, and revere him for that, as the reason to play for Surrey would serve a bigger purpose for Kohli, getting acclimated with conditions in England.
The explosive batsman is time and again haunted by his struggle to adapt to the wicket conditions in England, something which was painfully evident in 2014, when he averaged 13 overall, and 4.75 against James Anderson. To give substance to this claim, one fact needs to be brought up about Virat ‘run-machine’ Kohli, and that is, the India captain does not have a century against only one country, England.
To fix this issue up, Virat Kohli is willing to play for Surrey, which would also require him to miss the Afghanistan vs India‘s first ever Test match, which is scheduled to take place in June. It might end up frustrating England later in the summer when Kohli is not surprised by sudden pace and bounce shifts, but the big picture is a positive one, for both the English domestic game and international cricket.