Cricket Australia chief executive Nick Hockley is not surprised by Virat Kohli's withdrawal from three Test matches here as he prepares for fatherhood in January, taking solace from the fact that the superstar will be there for a major part of the eagerly-awaited showdown across formats. Kohli and his actor wife Anushka Sharma are expecting their first child in January. The BCCI has granted Kohli a paternity leave and he will return to India after the opening Test, scheduled from December 17 in Adelaide.
Hockley, who is CA's interim chief executive, said that Kohli missing a major part of the Test series was expected but he is glad that the stylish batter will be available for three T20 Internationals and as many ODIs starting November 27. "When they announced their pregnancy earlier, I think it was always on the cards," Hockley told Sydney radio station SEN.
"We're thrilled Virat is coming out for three ODIs, three T20s, the first ever day-night Test against India and we have to respect the fact he wants to be there for the birth of his first child."
"Clearly, (he is) one of the game's absolute superstars. We're looking forward to seeing him here for seven out of the 10 matches," he said.
Hockley said both teams have enough stars to ensure that cricket fans will be hooked to the series. "You've got a good number of players from both sides who played the last series in Australia which India won. There'll be a huge amount to play for ... it will be fascinating series."
Hockley said it looks highly unlikely that Kohli could get back to Australia to play the latter part of the series. "I think it's pretty challenged (for him to return). Obviously a mandatory 14-day quarantine period," he said.
"Logistically it's very much more complicated and being brutal it's much harder than normal."