I want players to play for country: Sports Minister
New Delhi: With star cricketer Gautam Gambhir`s shoulder injury raking up a country vs club debate, Sports Minister Ajay Maken on Friday said every sportsperson should first honour their national commitments.
Although he tried to evade a direct reply when asked about Gambhir`s decision to play for his IPL franchise Kolkata Knight Riders despite a shoulder injury, which
eventually ruled him out for the entire tour of West Indies, Maken hinted that for any sportsperson country should come first.
"I would like to keep myself out of this controversy but as a minister I would like everyone to play for the country first," Maken said.
Gambhir has stirred the country versus club debate when he captained Kolkata Knight Riders against Mumbai Indians in the IPL eliminator on Wednesday despite suffering from a chronic shoulder injury.
The incident took an ugly turn a day later when KKR physio Andrew Leipus, in his report to BCCI, stated that the left-hander needs complete rest for four to six weeks to recover from injury.
Subsequently, he was today ruled out for the entire tour of the West Indies and in his place Suresh Raina has been named captain while Harbhajan Singh will be his deputy.
If the shoulder injury was not enough, Gambhir courted another controversy when Leipus, in his report to BCCI, stated that the player had used "corticosteroid injections" earlier for his recurring shoulder injury.