Former India captain Sourav Ganguly has opened up on the controversy which emerged during his tenure as the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President. While he was heading the BCCI, Virat Kohli first decided to step down as the captain of the T20Is before he was replaced as the skipper in the ODI format. Months later, Kohli opted to step down as the leader in the purest format of the game as well.
Ganguly, who has often been acccused of being responsible for sacking Kohli as the skipper in the ODI format, recently spoke about the issue in a quiz show which he hosts.
“I didn’t remove Virat (Kohli) 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.
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While Ganguly has shared his point of view, in a press conference Kohli had shared that the decision was abrupt with him being told about the same 90 minutes before the team selection for South Africa tour. He even contradicted the former left-handed batter’s claims that the BCCI had requested him not to step down as the T20I skipper, alleging poor communication from the Board.
Ganguly’s claims, however, were backed by claims from the then chief selector Chetan Sharma.
“Sourav Ganguly said that think once, in what might have been a video conference. Virat would not have heard. There were nine people sitting there, not one person. All the people were there… I was also there. All the selectors and board members were there. Either Virat didn’t listen or Virat did. I don’t know. We don’t know, Virat will know,” Sharma was heard saying in a TV sting operation in the aftermath of which he had to resign.