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Sourav Ganguly clarifies his role in Virat Kohli stepping down as captain: I didn’t remove him


Sourav Ganguly clarifies his role in Virat Kohli stepping down as captain: I didn’t remove him


Former skipper and Indian cricket board (BCCI) president Sourav Ganguly has clarified his role in the much-talked-about phase in which Virat Kohli quit as T20I captain, shortly after which he was removed as ODI captain. Ganguly was the BCCI chief at that point in time and Kohli had expressed his disappointment after he was removed as the captain of the ODI side in December 2021.

The turn of events leading to Virat Kohli’s removal as ODI captain and the former captain’s explosive press conference before a tour to South Africa in December-January 2021-22 created a stir.

Sourav Ganguly, in a recent show on television, recalled the phase and said he did not influence the sacking of Kohli as ODI captain.

“I didn’t remove Virat from captaincy. I have said this several times. He (Kohli) was not interested to lead in T20Is. So, after he made that decision, I told him, if you’re not interested to lead in T20Is, it’s better if you step down from entire white-ball cricket. Let there be a white-ball captain and a red-ball captain.” Ganguly said, reacting to a video in a television show, Dadagiri Unlimited Season 10.

The BCCI’s decision to remove Kohli from ODI captaincy was abrupt and, according to Kohli, lacked proper communication. In an explosive press conference, Kohli revealed that he was informed of the decision just 90 minutes before the team selection for the South Africa tour. He contradicted Ganguly’s claims that the board had requested him not to step down from the T20I captaincy. Kohli stated that there was no such request and that he had been clear about his intentions to relinquish the T20I captaincy post the World Cup.

Kohli’s allegations of poor communication were a stark contrast to the BCCI top brass’s take on the issue. Ganguly had previously mentioned that the decision to appoint Rohit Sharma as the sole white-ball captain was to avoid having two different captains for the white-ball formats. The BCCI’s stance was that a single captain for both ODI and T20I formats would streamline leadership within the team.

The controversy deepened when Chetan Sharma, the former chairman of selectors, reacted to Kohli’s comments. Sharma emphasised that the decision to remove Kohli was based on the selectors’ belief that a unified approach to white-ball cricket was necessary. He also pointed out that everyone, including BCCI office bearers, had requested Kohli to reconsider his decision to quit T20I captaincy before the ICC T20 World Cup.

Published By:

Akshay Ramesh

Published On:

Dec 5, 2023


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