Bob Willis and Virat Kohli © Getty Images
Bob Willis and Virat Kohli © Getty Images

There has been increase in the number of the cricketers opting for the county route to better their performance on English soil. Amongst the current lot, Cheteshwar Pujara started the trend by playing County Championship 2017 for Yorkshire. Ishant Sharma has been roped in by Sussex for County Championship 2018. Virat Kohli followed suit and inked the deal with Surrey for five games. He is all set to skip the Afghanistan Test for county cricket ahead of the England tour in August. Varun Aaron will also be playing the initial 2018 County Championship games for Leicestershire.

However, former England bowler Bob Willis has opposed the increasing number of overseas players participating in county cricket. Rather, Willis wants England players to do well in Tests at their den. With Kohli playing for Surrey ahead of the England tour, Willis termed his stint nonsense. Willis wants Kohli to be made to suffer in England just like he did in 2014 tour.

England has been an untouched zone for Kohli, despite his enormous success in all other countries. Kohli’s score in 2014 England tour read: 1, 8, 25, 0, 39, 28, 0, 7, 6 and 20.

In a chat with SkySports Willis expressed his frustration on Kohli’s participation in county cricket and rise of overseas players in county cricket:

Kohli’s stint with Surrey: “They’re going to pay Kohli, presumably, five figures a match so he can hone his skills in English conditions before a Test series. It’s nonsense. He should be made to suffer in England as he has done before. We don’t want England starting to lose Test matches at home because we’re accommodating all of these visiting players.”

On the increase of overseas players participating in county cricket: “I can’t stand overseas players in county cricket. It doesn’t benefit the players stranded in the second XI year on year and the youngsters. The only way to improve our Test team is to have as many England-qualified players playing in the County Championship as possible.”

India will be playing their first Test against England at Edgbaston on August 1.