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Virat Kohli to play one Test in Australian series before returning home for his first child’s birth

Virat Kohli is set to play only the first Test match of the summer before heading home for the birth of his first child.

Kohli, one of the best batsmen in the world and the Indian captain, revealed in August that he and his wife Bollywood actor Anushka Sharma were expecting their first child in January 2021.

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The Board of Control for Cricket in India confirmed on Monday that Kohli would be granted leave after the first Test match of the summer

“At the selection committee meeting held on October 26th, 2020, Mr Virat Kohli had informed the BCCI about his plans to return to India after the first Test in Adelaide. The BCCI has granted paternity leave to the Indian captain. He will return after the first Test against Australia in Adelaide,” the statement read.

India will also be without Rohit Sharma, who will be rested throughout the ODI and T20 series starting November 27.

But the first Test, a day-night match which will be played from December 17 to 21 in Adelaide, appears to be likely the only match Kohli will take part in with COVID-19 restrictions meaning he will have to quarantine for 14 days when returning to Australia.

While Kohli should feature in the white-ball matches, one of the big issues of contention this year in Australian cricket has been the broadcast rights with Channel 7 and Cricket Australia at odds over the $450 million cricket rights contract.

One of the problems was that the Big Bash won’t be able to attract as high quality cricketers as in previous iterations.

ESPNcricinfo reporter Daniel Brettig was quick to respond to the news on social media, tweeting “Family comes first, no debate. Can‘t wait for the 7 CEO’s take on this one though”.

It’s another potentially spicy issue as Kohli is one of the great drawcards in world cricket.

As well as being one of the best batsmen in the world, Kohli was involved in some of the spiciest moments of India’s last tour Down Under with a running battle with Aussie captain Tim Paine.

“Also in the wider scheme of things Kohli has timed this well. Hasn‘t impacted a World Cup or an IPL and India are as good as qualified for the Test Championship final anyway,” Brettig added.

More to come …

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