Sourav Ganguly reveals discussion with Virat Kohli on Indian captaincy

Virat Kohli

Sourav Ganguly recently clarified that he did not remove Virat Kohli from India captaincy during his tenure as the President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). Notably, Kohli relinquished T20I captaincy after India’s group-stage exit in the 2021 T20 World Cup but had expressed his desire to continue leading the team in ODIs and Tests. However, he was apparently removed from captaincy in ODIs as well.

Kohli went on to announce, in January 2022, that he would relinquish Test captaincy. Ganguly, the then BCCI president, received massive backlash on social media after the incident as many believed he had a role in Kohli’s decision. Rohit Sharma was subsequently made captain in all three formats for India.

During a recent show hosted by Ganguly himself, a video was shown where the ‘Prince of Bengal’ was credited for sacking Kohli as the India skipper and appointing Rohit instead. The former India captain reacted to the video by saying that only a part of it is correct. He clarified that he had no role in sacking Kohli. Ganguly stated that Kohli wanted to leave only the T20I captaincy and he just suggested to the player that it is more feasible to have separate captains for limited-overs and Tests.

“I didn’t remove Virat from captaincy. I have told this a lot of times. He 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 on the reality show Dadagiri Unlimited Season 10.

The 51-year-old said that Rohit wasn’t interested in taking up captaincy in all three formats. However, he managed to convince the Mumbai batter. Notably, India performed incredibly well in the recently concluded ODI World Cup 2023, winning 10 games in a row before losing the final to Australia under Rohit’s captaincy. Ganguly did not take credit for India’s performances and lauded the players instead.

“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,” he added.