Former Australia batsman Brad Hodge has posted a heartfelt apology to Virat Kohli and the people of India for his comments regarding the Test skipper's shoulder injury and his participation in the upcoming Indian Premier League.
Hodge has been heavily criticised in India after making a light-hearted suggestion in a television interview that Kohli, who missed the series-deciding fourth Test against Australia due to a shoulder injury, was saving himself for the upcoming IPL campaign.
Quick Single: Hodge on Kohli's shoulder, IPL
"You'd hope as a sportsman that he's seriously injured," Hodge told Fox Sports.
"If you miss one game of Test match cricket and you're fronting up the next week (in the IPL) ... you'd be pretty dirty if he didn't front up to a Test match and try and win a valuable series against Australia.
"You would think that your captain would get out there and get amongst the fight and get in there."
Hodge has been slammed in the Indian media for his remarks, including by former Test batsman Gautam Gambhir, who said of Hodge: "If you don’t know the extent of the injury you should not be talking about it".
Hodge, who will again coach the Gujurat Lions in the IPL, starting next month, posted a lengthy apology on Thursday, saying "my intention was never to harm, criticize (sic) or be derogatory towards anyone".
Kohli appears likely to miss the start of the IPL due to his shoulder injury, with his Royal Challengers Bangalore set to open the tournament against defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad on Wednesday.
"It's still a few weeks to go before I can be 100 per cent on the field," Kohli said on Tuesday.
"But these things happen in your career. Got to take it in my stride and move forward."
Hodge's Gujurat side will open their IPL campaign against Kolkata Knight Riders on April 8 and they will take on Kohli and the RCB on April 19.