According to some media reports citing sources, Sourav Ganguly wanted to make Virat Kohli pay for his openly contradictory comment during the Indian team’s pre-departure press conference.
Sourav Ganguly, the president of the BCCI, has denied that there was any intention of holding Virat Kohli accountable for his comments on the captaincy issue ahead of the Indian team’s tour of South Africa. The Indian Express quoted Ganguly as saying, “Not true at all.”
According to some media reports citing sources, Ganguly wanted to make a point about Kohli’s remark during the Indian team’s pre-departure press conference, which openly contradicted the Board president.
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Kohli claimed that he had received no communication regarding his refusal to relinquish the T20I captaincy. “Before stepping down as T20I captain, I approached the BCCI and explained my reasoning.” That was very well received. There was no reluctance or offence. He had said, “Muhje yeh nahi kaha giya tha ki aap T20 captaincy na chodie (I was not told not to relinquish T20 captaincy),” adding, “Rather, it was taken as a progressive step, in the right direction.” I stated at the time that I would like to continue as Test and ODI captain unless the office-bearers and selectors felt I shouldn’t. (To the BCCI), my communication was clear.”
This followed the selection committee’s decision to remove Kohli as ODI captain and replace him with Rohit Sharma. “We (BCCI) had requested Virat not to step down as T20I captain,” Ganguly told The Indian Express on December 9. There was no intention of changing captains. But he stepped down as T20I captain, and the selectors opted for a complete separation of limited-overs captaincy and T20I captaincy.” “The bottom line is that there can’t be two white-ball captains,” he continued.
Kohli decided to step down as T20I captain after the T20 World Cup last year, and met with the BCCI’s top brass and selection committee to discuss it before the tournament. “When the (T20 World Cup selection) meeting started (in September), it was a surprise for everyone,” said chief selector Chetan Sharma later. Everyone in that meeting advised Virat to reconsider his decision. We thought it would affect the (World Cup) team at the time, so we told Virat to “please continue as captain” for the sake of Indian cricket. Everyone had told him about it. The convener was in attendance. Officials from the Board were present. But he made the decision, which we accepted.”
According to reports, the BCCI now considers the entire situation to be “water under the bridge.” Kohli is no longer the captain of any team in any format, having stepped down from the T20I and Test captaincy, as well as the ODI captaincy.