The Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) injury management process — or the lack of it — was exposed yet again after it was confirmed that opening batsman Virender Sehwag will return to India after the Oval Test without playing the one-day series.
Confirming that Sehwag "will board a flight back to India soon after the Test series is over", a BCCI insider told HT that the batsman's fitness issues got compounded after landing in England.
"Everyone knew that his shoulder had not fully healed. He also had a vertigo problem and an ear infection," the source said, preferring anonymity as he is not authorised to speak to the media.
Sehwag was recovering from shoulder surgery that got from the Indian Premier League. Because of it he missed the first two Test games in England. The opener joined the side for the third Test at Edgbaston. However, it was learnt that just like half-fit Zaheer, who boarded the flight to England before the start of the series, Sehwag joined the demoralised squad before fully recovering and regaining fitness following the surgery.
No wonder Sehwag, who registered a golden pair on his comeback in Birmingham last week, lasted just 10 balls in his first three stints before hanging on for a 67-ball 33 during India's second innings at the Oval on Sunday. The episode has exposed the loopholes in the BCCI's injury rehabilitation programme. "It is shameful. How can such incidents happen so frequently?" fumed a BCCI bigwig.
It was also confirmed that the national selectors have been informed about Sehwag's non-availability for the lone T20 game and five one-dayers against England. The replacement would be announced latest by Tuesday.