Ayodhya or Hyderabad: Where is Virat Kohli?

Hyderabad: Ahead of the Ram Temple consecration on Monday, January 22 speculations were rife if Indian cricketer Virat Kohli would attend the ceremony or tend to his professional commitments, ahead of a five-match test series against England Adiraj Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad.

Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma were among the 2000 people invited to the consecration ceremony held today in Ayodhya.

Speculations arose after Virat Kohli was spotted at the Mumbai airport. However, Virat Kohli was spotted arriving in Hyderabad to join the Indian team to take part in the five-match test series against England this week.

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The BCCI has however now stated that the batsman has withdrawn from the first two test matches of the series citing personal reasons. Kohli will not play the first two tests scheduled in Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam and has requested his privacy to be respected, said the BCCI in a statement on Monday.

The upcoming series between India and England will begin at Hyderabad on January 25, followed by other matches at Visakhapatnam (February 2-6), Rajkot (February 15-19), Ranchi (February 23-27) and Dharamshala (March 7-11).

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Virat has reportedly spoken to Captain Rohit Sharma, the team management and the selectors and has emphasized that while representing the country has always been his top priority, certain personal situations demand his presence and undivided attention.

“The BCCI respects his decision and the Board and team management has extended its support to the star batter and is confident in the abilities of the remaining squad members to step up and deliver commendable performances in the Test series,” said BCCI.

“The BCCI requests the media and fans to respect Virat Kohli’s privacy during this time and refrain from speculating on the nature of his personal reasons. The focus should remain on supporting the Indian cricket team as they embark on the upcoming challenges in the Test series,” it added.

Additionally, it is to be noted that Bollywood actress Anushka Sharma and Kohli are expecting their second child together. However, the couple has neither officially confirmed nor denied the reports.

The buzz about Anushka Sharma’s second pregnancy began in October after a report by Hindustan Times suggested that the actress is expecting another child.

Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli tied the knot in December 2017 and welcomed their daughter, Vamika, in January 2021.