Gautam Gambhir on Friday hit out at critics who accused him of hiding an injury to play in the current Indian Premier League and thus jeopardising his chances to play for India.
The Kolkata Knight Riders skipper picked up an injury in his right shoulder during the World Cup and aggravated it while playing in the IPL.
"It is ridiculous to say that I chose club over country," said Gambhir.
He said there was no cover up on anybody's part and he played in the match against Mumbai Indians in the IPL Eliminator as 'the team needed me'.
He has now been advised to 6-8 weeks of rest.
Kolkata Knight Riders, who bought Gambhir for a whopping 11.4 crore in the auctions, maintained that the BCCI had been kept informed when their captain aggravated the injury.
"The last match we played in Kolkata, we took immediate steps to ensure that we have precautionary scans done. That's the basis on which report was sent to the BCCI. I can say that we did not hide anything from the BCCI as a matter of fact," said KKR CEO Venky Mysore.
"Gautam actually reported to KKR after the World Cup, he was actually complaining of some pain in his shoulder. He apparently had that pain even during the World Cup, in the World Cup final against Sri Lanka, I think in the process of trying to take a catch, he seems to have increased the pain a bit.
"When he reported to us we sent our report. It was done exactly in a timely manner. We did not feel that there is anything different which necessitated any additional steps earlier in the season and it was done purely on a preferred basis," Mysore said.
Kolkata trainer Andrew Leipus wrote a letter to BCCI secretary N Srinivasan, saying, "the player felt acute pain in his right shoulder while landing on it in the field at one point during the World Cup final against Sri Lanka at the Wankhede stadium on April 2. Subsequent scans have now revealed a serious injury that would require him to avoid throwing or batting for four to six weeks".
Leipus, a former Team India physio, said that Gambhir had complained of a sore shoulder when he arrived in Kolkata for the IPL. "He clearly recollects a fielding incident where he landed on an outstretched arm and felt a catch deep in the shoulder. In the euphoria at the time, his attention was deservedly elsewhere and he didn't bother telling anyone about it," Leipus said.
Under Leipus's management and rehabilitation plan, Gambhir only reported pain intermittently. But during Kolkata's final group match at Eden Gardens on May 22, against Mumbai Indians, Gambhir winced in pain immediately after sending back a throw to the wicketkeeper from the deep. Leipus confirmed that the throw had "aggravated" the pain. The team then travelled for the Eliminator to Mumbai, where Gambhir consulted a prominent Mumbai-based surgeon and had an MRI scan taken.
Apart from Dhoni, India will also be without Sachin Tendulkar, who has been rested, and Virender Sehwag, who also underwent a shoulder surgery.
This latest development is sure to spark the country vs club debate once again since Sehwag had also played through the IPL with his injury. This also raises questions over the responsibility of the BCCI, the IPL team owners and the players.
The Indian board, however, has not taken the issue lightly and there were indications that it could contemplate taking action against the player and the franchise.
"If Gambhir was carrying the injury, why did he not skip the IPL. It is surprising that the injury comes to light only when their IPL campaign ends", a top BCCI official said.
They are likely to take a decision on the left-hander soon.
(With agency inputs)