Gambhir denies hiding injury to play in IPL
May 27 2011 - 14:00:31
India's stand-in captain Gautam Gambhir on Friday rejected claims that he covered up a shoulder injury to play in the lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL).
"Any modern cricketer understands that by feigning or risking an injury he is only jeopardising his career. It is imaginative to say that I was covering my injury to play in the IPL," Gambir told the Hindustan Times.
"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."
Gambhir, who is likely to miss next month's one-day series and Twenty20 international in the West Indies, said he felt the injury during the World Cup final and could have aggravated it during the ongoing IPL.
He was named skipper for the Caribbean tour this month after World Cup-winning captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was rested along with star batsman Sachin Tendulkar and key paceman Zaheer Khan.
Gambhir, bought by Kolkata Knight Riders for a record $2.4 million, cracked 97 in India's victory over Sri Lanka in the World Cup final in Mumbai last month.
"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 that time," said Gambhir, who has so far scored 4,073 runs in 114 one-day internationals.
"Any professional cricketer, playing all three formats, will tell you that these niggles are part of his system."
Gambhir admitted he could have aggravated the injury during the IPL.
"There was an instance during Sunday's clash against Mumbai Indians when I threw the ball from deep point and felt pain in my right shoulder," he said.
Sri Lankan paceman Lasith Malinga also attracted criticism last month that he had chosen club over country when he made himself unavailable for the current Test series in England.
He eventually quit Test cricket in a bid to prolong his career in one-day internationals and Twenty20 matches.