‘Pushed Rohit’: Ganguly sets record straight over Kohli's captaincy resignation | Cricket - Hindustan Times
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'Pushed Rohit. Virat wasn’t…': Sourav Ganguly drops 'Kohli' truth bomb, sets record straight over India captaincy saga

By, New Delhi
Dec 05, 2023 07:23 PM IST

Opening about the captaincy saga involving Virat Kohli, former BCCI president Sourav Ganguly said that he pushed Rohit Sharma for the leadership role.

The year was 2021 and Virat Kohli had just dropped the captaincy bombshell by openly expressing his desire to step down as the leader of Team India in the shortest format. According to former board president Sourav Ganguly, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) requested Kohli to continue as India's T20I captain at the time. However, former India skipper Kohli only wanted to lead the Men In Blue in Test and ODI formats.

Ganguly said that he pushed for the leadership role(ANI-AFP)
Ganguly said that he pushed for the leadership role(ANI-AFP)

To manage his workload, Kohli had announced to step down as the T20I captain of the 2007 champions. Interestingly, Kohli ended up relinquishing leadership roles across formats before the end of the 2022 season. Appointed as white-ball captain in December 2022, veteran opener Rohit Sharma succeeded Kohli as India's full-time Test captain after the latter stepped down from the position following the South Africa series.

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During the 2023 season of the Indian Premier League (IPL), multiple reports suggested that there was an ugly rift between Kohli and Ganguly. The exchanges between former Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) skipper and Delhi Capitals (DC) director of cricket managed to make headlines during the entire IPL 2023 season. Was Ganguly involved in removing Kohli from the captaincy throne? Was there any rift between the two icons of the game?

Ganguly drops 'Kohli' truth bomb

Sharing his views about the India captaincy saga on Dadagiri Unlimited Season 10, the former BCCI chief clarified once again that it was Kohli, who was not willing to lead the team in the shortest format. “I didn’t remove Virat from captaincy. I have said this a lot of times. He wasn’t 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.

'I pushed Rohit Sharma'

However, the former BCCI chief asserted that he backed Rohit to lead Team India after Kohli's departure. "I pushed Rohit Sharma a bit to take up the captaincy role because he wasn’t interested to lead in all three formats of the game. So, maybe I have a bit of contribution in that but no matter who is administrating, it’s the players who perform well on the field. I was appointed as the President of BCCI to work for the betterment of Indian cricket, this is a small part of it," the former India skipper explained.

'It's the players who rule the cricket'

With Rohit replacing Kohli as India's all-format captain, the Asian giants made it to the semi-finals of the ICC World T20 in 2022. Rohit's Team India contested the final of the ICC World Test Championship against Australia. Under Rohit's leadership, India recorded a perfect ten at the ICC World Cup 2023 although the unbeaten run of the hosts was ended in the final by Australia. Rohit and Kohli will next be seen in the South Africa Test series. "I always believe in one thing. It doesn't matter what the administrator does or thinks, at the end of the day, it's the players who rule the cricket field," the former BCCI chief added.

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