Virat Kohli vs BCCI: Biggest talking points from former ODI captain’s explosive press conference


Team India’s red-ball captain Virat Kohli pulled out all the punches while taking on the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) over his sacking as the captain of the ODI team. Kohli revealed in an explosive press conference that he was informed only 1.5 hours before the selection committee meeting that he was being relieved as the captain of the Indian ODI team to be replaced by Rohit Sharma.

The former captain also revealed that claims made by BCCI president Sourav Ganguly were also wrong that the board had no clear communication with Kohli. Here are the key takeaways from Kohli’s explosive press briefing on Wednesday (December 15)…

Revealing details of his sacking as the ODI captain

Kohli had given up T20 captaincy voluntarily at the end of India’s campaign in the T20 World Cup 2021 last month. However, the Test skipper made it clear that he wanted to continue as the captain in the other two formats unless the selectors and BCCI office bearer though otherwise.

“Whatever was said about the communication that happened during the decision that was made was inaccurate. I was contacted one and a half hours before the selection meeting on the 8th for the Test series. And there was no prior communication with me at all since I announced the T20 captaincy decision up till the 8th. The chief selector 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 will not be the ODI captain. To which I replied, ‘ok fine’. Later in selection call afterwards, we chatted about it briefly and that’s what happened. There was no communication prior to that at all,” Kohli said.

Kohli contradicts Ganguly’s statement

BCCI president and former India captain Ganguly has claimed in a media interview that ‘he had personally requested Kohli to take back his decision and continue as T20I captain’. But Kohli refuted this statement from Ganguly claiming there was no such communication at all.

“When I decided to leave the T20I captaincy and approached the BCCI about my decision, it was received well. There was no offence or hesitation, I wasn’t told to reconsider it. It was received well; I was told it’s progressive and it’s (a step) in the right direction,” Kohli said.

“Then I told them I’d like to continue in Tests and ODIs, unless the office bearers and selectors feel otherwise. My communication was clear in what I wanted to do. I gave them the option, that if they feel I shouldn’t (remain captain in Tests and/or ODIs), the decision is in their hands,” he added.

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‘I was and I am available for SA ODIs’

The biggest talking point before Kohli’s PC was whether the former skipper will be available to play in three ODIs against South Africa in January next year. There were reports that Kohli had requested leave from BCCI after the end of the three-Test series against South Africa to celebrate his daughter Vamika’s first birthday.

“I was and I am available for selection all this time. You should not be asking me this question, honestly, this question should be asked to people who are writing about these things and their sources, because as far as I’m concerned, I was always available.

“I have not had any communication with the BCCI saying I want to rest. There were a few things that came out in the past as well, that it was said I was attending some events or something that was absolutely not true either. All these people who are writing these things and their sources, to me they’re absolutely not credible. As I said, I am available for selection for the ODIs in South Africa and I’m always keen to play. This question should be asked to people writing lies, my communication with BCCI on this issue has not happened that I want to rest,” Kohli claimed.

‘No rift with Rohit. Tired of clarifying it’

Sections of media claimed that Kohli’s possible decision to skip the SA ODIs stemmed from his rift with new ODI and T20 skipper Rohit Sharma. Kohli claimed that there was absolutely no rift with Rohit.

“I have addressed this so many times that there is absolutely no problem between us. And honestly, I clarifying this since the last 2-2.5 years regularly and I am tired of it. Time and again, this keeps coming. I can assure you one thing that none of my actions or communication will never be to bring the team down until I am playing. And this has always been my point of view and this is my commitment towards Indian cricket,” Kohli said.

Full support to Dravid, Rohit

Kohli said he continue to offer his full support to coach Rahul Dravid and white-ball captain Rohit in taking Indian cricket forward. Speaking highly of Rohit and his leadership skills, Kohli has promised his 100 per cent support to his coach and captain.

“Rohit is a very able captain, tactically very sound. We’ve seen that in the games he’s captained for India and in the IPL (with Mumbai Indians) as well. So along with Rahul bhai, who is a very balanced coach and great man-manager, both will have my absolute support and my contribution in whatever vision they set for the team. I will be there to support that 100% and continue to be a guy who can push the team in the right direction going forward in ODIs and T20Is,” Kohli said.

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