With the India Tour of South Africa just around the corner, a fresh controversy has erupted within the fold of the Indian cricketing fraternity. This time around the central characters are BCCI President Sourav Ganguly and the Indian Test team captain Virat Kohli.
It all started in Gurgaon this past Saturday, December 18, when the former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly was attending a function in his honor. Ganguly being at the helm of affairs of cricket in the country, the media is always present wherever he goes. So at the event in Gurgaon, Ganguly was asked by the media about the one player from the current crop of Indian cricketers that he is the fondest of. The current board top boss replied that he is fond of Kohli’s general attitude, but he is not a fan of his tendency to pick up fights with people associated with cricket.
Kohli Refutes Claim That Ganguly Spoke To Him
The root of the current captaincy conundrum can be traced back to September when it was announced by the board that Kohli has requested to step down from the T20I captaincy position after the ICC Men’s T20 Cricket World Cup. According to Ganguly, it was then that he had a word with Kohli and asked him to reconsider his decision. However, during the press meet on Wednesday, Kohli denied that anyone from the board had ever spoken to him about his decision to leave the T20I captaincy role. Further, Kohli claimed that the news of Rohit Sharma’s appointment as skipper of the ODI team was conferred to him only one and a half hours before the news was made public on December 8.
He said, “I was contacted one and a half hours before the selection meeting on December 8 for the Test series. The chief selector (Chetan Sharma) discussed with me the Test team to which we both agreed, and before ending the call, I was told that the five selectors have decided that I would not be the ODI captain, to which I replied, ‘Okay, fine’. And in the selection call afterwards, we chatted about it briefly. And that’s what happened. There was communication prior to that at all.”
Virat Kohli Adamant About Exposing The BCCI
Before his side departed for South Africa on Wednesday, December 15, Kohli faced the media in Mumbai. He was asked a slew of difficult questions regarding the present situation surrounding changes in captaincy roles for different formats.
A visibly miffed Kohli made it more than clear that he was not happy with the way the board has been handling the captaincy issue. He said, “About the T20I captaincy, I first approached the BCCI explaining my point of view, thought process and reasons. And at that point, it was received very well. There was no offense or hesitancy. I was not told to not leave the T20I captaincy rather it was received as a progressive call. I had also communicated that yes. Therefore, I would like to continue as the skipper in Tests and ODIs unless the office-bearers or the selectors feel I shouldn’t continue. This too was clarified on the call. So, my communication with the BCCI was clear from that point on. I had given the option to the officials; that the decision was in their hands if I should continue or not.”
BCCI Monitoring the Situation Closely
A lot of talks are doing the rounds about the ongoing tussle between Kohli and the board concerning captaincy issues. Since Team India is scheduled to play South Africa in a 3-match Test series starting on December 26, the board is not thinking of immediately calling for any disciplinary action against Kohli. This will be a hard challenge as India has never won a Test series in South Africa in its 29-year bilateral history. In the best interest of the team, it is unlikely that the BCCI will add fuel to the fire by making any official statement regarding Virat Kohli’s accusations on the board. Only after the team returns from South Africa will we see a possible face-off between the board and Virat Kohli.
Ganguly Says Matter To Be Solved Officially
Following Kohli’s press conference on Wednesday, all eyes went back to the man in charge of the board, Ganguly. When asked about his reaction to Kohli’s revelations at the press meet, Ganguly remained calm and confident. He said, “I have nothing to say. We will deal with it, leave it to the BCCI.”
These are hard times for Indian cricket. Even in the past, there have been instances when the board and senior players have engaged in bitter confrontations. Most of them did not end well for the cricketers. The millions of fans of Kohli would be praying that matter is resolved at the earliest so that they get to see the best of him on the field again.