The last few days at the BCCI headquarters must have been chaotic as president Sourav Ganguly and Test captain Virat Kohli have had completely opposite things to say on the same topic.
3 days ago, Ganguly told News 18 that he had personally requested Kohli to not give up on the T20 captaincy and since he did not agree to that, they had to let him go as the leader of the side across limited-over formats because the administration wanted one skipper for white-ball cricket.
I personally requested him (Kohli) not to give up the T20I captaincy. Obviously, he felt the workload. Which is fine, he has been a great cricketer, he has been very intense with his cricket… Also, they wanted only one white-ball captain. And that’s why this decision.
👀— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) December 15, 2021
Kohli did not respond. Until he was sitting in a press conference and outrightly refuted the claims. First of all, he said that he had discussed his ODI captaincy while he was giving up on the T20 leadership, which according to him was well received.
I told the BCCI before giving up T20I captaincy. I told them my point of view. The BCCI received it very well. There was no offence. It was received well, saying it’s a progresive step. I told them I will continue as ODI captain and Test captain. I told them at that point clearly that if the office bearers or the selectors don’t want me to handle either of the responsibility, I am fine with it. I said this clearly when I approached the BCCI to discuss my T20I captaincy.
Virat Kohli stated he was informed that he would no longer be India’s ODI captain just 1.5 hours before the Test squad to South Africa was announced 👇— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) December 15, 2021
And then he added:
Whatever was said, I was contacted 1 and half hours before the meeting. There was no communication. The chief selector discussed the Test team. Before ending the call, I was told the five selectors told me I will not be ODI captain. Which is fine.
To summarise, this is Kohli’s version of events: he wasn’t requested to reconsider giving up the T20 captainship. Also, BCCI’s decision to not have him around as the ODI skipper wasn’t as organic and smooth as it was made out to be by Ganguly. They literally gave Virat a half-an-hour notice, if it could be called that.
This has people wondering who is telling the truth because, from the looks of it, this doesn’t seem like a ‘misunderstanding’ even to the most optimistic ones among us.
Here are some of the reactions to the issue. Safe to say, things have blown up.
“Sourav Ganguly is the BCCI president and surely he should be asked why there is this discrepancy. He is probably the best person to ask about the discrepancy in what you seem to have to say and what the Indian captain has said.”— Express Sports (@IExpressSports) December 16, 2021
– Sunil Gavaskarhttps://t.co/JqjEtZAija
That Virat Kohli despite a stupendous batting and captaincy record was dumped from ODI as a captain without even being told is shameful. BCCI is a political minefield. But that it should happen with ex-skipper Sourav Ganguly in charge is terrible. @imVkohli @SGanguly99— Sanjay Jha (@JhaSanjay) December 9, 2021
Appreciate the courage of Kohli to openly expose Ganguly as a liar. Earlier by standing up for Shami, he enraged the country’s ruling bigots. Now he calls out the BCCI President. If he weren’t the greatest cricketer playing for India today, his career would have ended right here.— Siddharth (@DearthOfSid) December 15, 2021
Virat says he was never told to not leave the T20I captaincy by anyone in the BCCI. Sourav Ganguly had earlier said he had asked Virat not to quit captaincy in T20s. Surely, they both are not on the same page. #ViratKohli— Rahul Rawat (@rawatrahul9) December 15, 2021
I have been shouting for last few days… I want to hear Virat’s version…and today Virat Said Sourav Ganguly never spoke to him about t20 captaincy… Did Sourav Ganguly Lie…??? Come and clarify Sourav Ganguly @BCCI— Samip Rajguru (@samiprajguru) December 15, 2021
“I requested Virat to not step down as T20 captain” ~ Ganguly— Thyview (@Thyview) December 15, 2021
“I was not told by anyone to not leave the T20 captaincy” ~ #ViratKohli
Definitely something is going on 😐
It isn’t easy taking on the richest cricket board in the world. Shows Kohli is a fiesty character not just on the field.— Parth MN (@parthpunter) December 15, 2021
As for Ganguly, “You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.”
Virat Kohli has emerged as the one lone Man in the corrupt Indian cricket ecosystem.— Sanjay Jha (@JhaSanjay) December 15, 2021
Sourav Ganguly has shamed himself. BCCI, is a bunch of jokers. Liars.
As they say history repeats itself Ganguly does to #Kohli what was once done to him and life turns full circle.— barkha dutt (@BDUTT) December 15, 2021
As a supporter of the national cricket team, one wants nothing more than a peaceful resolution right now – but that should not come at the cost of lies prevailing over truth.
Accountability is the need of the hour, and we hope it is demanded emphatically.