India skipper Virat Kohli on Thursday downplayed controversial remarks about ditching Australian cricketers as friends, saying his comments were blown out of proportion and he remained on good terms with some players.
The Indian skipper sought to clear the air on Thursday as he prepares to share a dressing room with Australian players in the IPL.
“My answer at the post match conference has been blown way out of proportion,” Kohli posted on his official Twitter account. “I did not categorically say the whole Australian team but only a couple of individuals.
“I continue to be in good terms with the few guys I know & who I’ve played with at RCB (Royal Challengers Bangalore) & that doesn’t change.”
Kohli had led RCB to the final last year with Australian players Mitchell Starc, Shane Watson and Travis Head. While Starc will not join RCB for the upcoming season starting April 5, Watson and Head will play side by side with Kohli.
In another development, former Australia all-rounder Brad Hodge also took to Twitter to apologise for his comments that Kohli had pulled out of the Dharamshala Test to save his IPL campaign.
“I take this opportunity to apologise to the people of India, cricket fans, the Indian national cricket team and particularly Virat Kohli for my previous comments,” Hodge’s apology read.
“My intention was never to harm, criticise or be derogatory toward anyone. They were intended to be light-hearted comments with the utmost respect to the Indian Premier League which I have thoroughly enjoyed through the years. The public and fans have every right to be upset, and the backlash I have received has certainly driven this home,” said Hodge, who is due to coach the Gujarat Lions in the IPL.
“I am deeply apologetic to the country which has bought me so much joy, and its inspirational leader in Virat Kohli, to whom I mean no ill-intention & respect highly as a professional,” he concluded.