“Virat Kohli was not interested to lead in T20Is, so…”: Former BCCI President Sourav Ganguly

In a dramatic turn of events last year, Indian cricket witnessed the controversial departure of Virat Kohli from the captaincy role in Test cricket. The exit raised numerous questions, particularly concerning the role of former captain Sourav Ganguly, who was serving as the president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) at that time.

Kohli initially stepped down as India’s T20 captain, citing his decision not to lead in the T20 International format. Following the T20 captaincy resignation, Kohli needed to be more persistent within the ODI format. Soon after, he decided to step down as the Test captain. Speculations emerged, suggesting Sourav Ganguly played a significant role in Kohli’s removal, fueling controversies and discussions among cricket enthusiasts.

Sourav Ganguly refutes claims that he played a part in removing Kohli from the captaincy, emphasizing that Kohli decided to step down from T20 captaincy. Ganguly reveals that, after Kohli’s T20 resignation, he suggested having separate white-ball and red-ball captains, encouraging Rohit Sharma to take the leadership role.

“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.

Ganguly highlights that his role as the BCCI president was aimed at the betterment of Indian cricket, and any contribution he made was in the interest of the team’s success. After Kohli’s departure, Rohit Sharma was entrusted with the captaincy across all formats, marking a new chapter in Indian cricket leadership.

Ganguly added, “I pushed Rohit Sharma to take the captaincy role because he wasn’t interested in leading in all three game formats. So, maybe I contribute a bit to that, but no matter who is administrating, the players perform well on the field. Nobody from outside can contribute much. I was appointed as the President of BCCI to work to improve Indian cricket; this is a small part of it.”

In his statement, Kohli expressed gratitude to the BCCI for the opportunity and acknowledged the efforts of teammates and the support group during his captaincy tenure.

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“It has been seven years of hard work, toil, and relentless perseverance every day to take the team in the right direction. I have done the job with absolute honesty and left nothing out there. Everything has to come to a halt at some stage, and for me, as Test captain of India, it’s now. There have been many ups and downs along the journey, but there has yet to be a lack of effort or belief. I have always believed in giving my 120 percent in everything I do, and if I can’t do that, I know it’s not the right thing. I have absolute clarity in my heart, and I cannot be dishonest to my team,” Kohli said in his statement.

“I want to thank the BCCI for allowing me to lead my country for such a long period and, more importantly, to all the teammates who bought into my vision for the team from day one and never gave up in any situation. You guys have made this journey so memorable and beautiful. To Ravi Bhai and the support group, who were the engine behind this vehicle that consistently moved us upwards in Test cricket, you have all played a massive role in bringing this vision to life. Lastly, a big thank you to MS Dhoni, who believed in me as a captain and found me an able individual who could take Indian Cricket forward.”

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