“I Didn’t Sack Virat Kohli From Team India Captaincy,” Says Sourav Ganguly

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“I didn’t sack Virat Kohli from Team India Captaincy,” says Sourav Ganguly: The leading few months post-Team India’s embarrassing outing in the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 in the UAE had an everlasting impact on Indian cricket. The cricket board reported massive unrest in the leadership position of the senior men’s team and Team India became the focal point of all the discussions.

Amidst all this were Virat Kohli and Sourav Ganguly, who were then Team India captain and President respectively. While a section of the crowd believes that Sourav Ganguly had played a role in the sacking of Virat Kohli from team India captaincy, the other section believes that Dada had no role in pushing Virat out of the lucrative leadership.

Virat Kohli, in September 2021, decided to step down from the T20I captaincy, asserting that he wants to keep the reins of the other two formats of the game. However, the decision didn’t go well with the BCCI as they appointed Rohit Sharma as Team India’s new ODI captain in December 2021, despite the fact that Virat wanted to continue in the ODIs.

However, things didn’t end there, as Virat abruptly announced, after the completion of the Test series against South Africa in 2021, that he wants to step away from the Test captaincy as well.

The heated discussions shot up among the fans and experts, who reckon that the matter could have been solved internally and not in the public domain. Many thought that Sourav Ganguly, who was then BCCI president, conspired to remove Virat Kohli from Team India’s ODI captaincy.

“I didn’t sack Virat Kohli from Team India Captaincy

"I didn't sack Virat Kohli from Team India Captaincy," says Sourav Ganguly
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However, clearing up the air, Sourav Ganguly confirmed that he didn’t remove Virat Kohli from the captaincy. He explained that Virat was not interested in leading in the shortest format, but was willing to lead in the ODIs and Tests. However, the BCCI wanted the white ball captaincy to remain in one hand and wasn’t willing to appoint separate captains for the ODIs and T20Is.

“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 in leading in T20Is, it’s better if you step down from entire white-ball cricket formats. Let there be a white-ball captain and a red-ball captain,” Sourav Ganguly said on Dadagiri.

He further disclosed that the current Indian captain, Rohit Sharma was not willing either to lead in all three formats of the game. However, he had to do a bit of convincing so that Sharma could take up the charge of the Indian team.

“I pushed Rohit Sharma a bit to take up the captaincy role because he wasn’t interested in leading in all three formats of the game. So, maybe I have a bit of contribution in that but no matter who is administrating, it’s the players who perform well on the field. Nobody from outside can contribute much,” he added.

“I was appointed as the President of BCCI to work for the betterment of Indian cricket, this is a small part of it.”

Virat Kohli Captaincy Quit Timeline:

  • September 16, 2021: Virat Kohli announced he would step down from T20I captaincy after T20 World Cup 2021.
  • November 2, 2021: Team India Eliminated from T20 World Cup 2021.
  • December 8, 2021: BCCI appoints Rohit Sharma as ODI captain, replacing Virat Kohli.
  • December 12, 2021: Ganguly clears that he warned Virat not to step down from T20I captaincy, otherwise he would have to leave the ODIs as well.
  • December 15, 2021: Virat Kohli contradicted that he was not asked to reconsider his decision.
  • January 15, 2022: Virat Kohli suddenly quit Test captaincy as well, after India lost the test series to South Africa.

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