Gautam Gambhir has described claims that he covered up an injury to play in the IPL as “imaginative”, insisting that he simply didn’t realise the extent of the injury.
On Thursday it was revealed that Gambhir would in all likelihood miss India’s tour of the West Indies because of a shoulder injury which he has carried throughout the IPL season.
The left-hander initially felt discomfort during the World Cup final, but went on to captain Kolkata throughout the campaign because he didn’t believe it was a serious injury.
Some have criticised Gambhir’s decision, believing that he played in the IPL to cash in on his record $2.4m contract with the Knight Riders instead of recuperate for the next international engagement.
With Virender Sehwag also set to miss the tour of the Caribbean due to an injury sustained during the IPL, the club versus country debate has raised its head.
“Any modern cricketer knows that by feigning or risking injury he is only jeopardising his own career,” Gambhir told the Hindustan Times.
“It is imaginative to say I was covering my injury to play in the IPL. I played with discomfort without realising the gravity of my injury. As a leader, my team needed me, but to say I preferred club over country is ridiculous.
“I felt some discomfort during the World Cup final, while running between the wickets. It didn’t seem major as it wasn’t very painful at the time. Any professional cricketer, playing all three formats, will tell you that niggles are all part of the system.”
Gambhir admitted that he probably aggravated the injury when he threw a ball from deep point during Kolkata’s clash with Mumbai in the league stage but defended his decision to play in the knockout game on Wednesday, insisting no-one tried to cover up the injury.
“I know how hard I have worked for my national cap and what it means to me. Not many people know that in 2008 I played the Ranji Trophy final against Uttar Pradesh with a swollen left hand,” he said.
“Earlier this year, I played the last Test of the South Africa series with an injured left hand. The swelling was so bad I could barely wear a glove. I am proud of the 93 and 64 I got on one of the most difficult pitches. It is embarrassing to publicise my commitment but I have no choice.” Cricket365