The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) leadership group is exploring options to respond to Virat Kohli’s sensational comments on his India captaincy, India Today has learnt. The top brass of the board is not in agreement with Kohli’s claims from Wednesday’s press conference and is in a huddle to come up with a response strategy, considering the tricky situation in Indian cricket.
BCCI is of course anguished but the board is in a very tricky situation, sources have said. On one hand, if they come out in open and say that Kohli’s claims are not true, it paints a bad picture about the skipper to the fans and other stakeholders of the sport. On the other hand, if they remain silent, it would appear that the board mistreated the captain.
Even as the controversy rages on, Virat Kohli and his Test team departed for South Africa in a chartered plane from Mumbai on Thursday morning.
Since yesterday, the BCCI top brass is in a huddle, working out a plan to respond to Kohli’s claims. However, the majority of the office bearers have denied the comments made by the Test captain ahead of the team’s departure for South Africa.
The BCCI may ask the selection committee chief, Chetan Sharma to address the issue or come up with a statement of its own. It might also be possible that the BCCI president Sourav Ganguly clears the air around the controversy, which has hogged the limelight since Wednesday.
WHAT DID VIRAT KOHLI SAY IN FIERY PRESSER
It all began when Virat Kohli, while speaking to the press in Mumbai on Wednesday, alleged a lack of communication from the BCCI in the lead up to his removal as ODI captain on December 8. Kohli said that the chief sector, Sharma, spoke to him only 90 minutes before the selection committee meeting to pick India’s Test squad for South Africa tour to inform that the selectors decided not to continue with him as ODI captain.
The BCCI announced on December 8 that Rohit Sharma was taking over ODI captaincy as well. Notably, Kohli decided to quit T20I captaincy after the T20 World Cup in October-November and he made the announcement before the tournament began. Rohit took over as T20I captain and led India to a 3-0 sweep against New Zealand at home.
“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 to me at all,” Kohli said.
“Before ending the call I was told that the five selectors had decided that I would not be the ODI captain, to which I replied, ‘ok fine’,” the 33-year-old said.
Meanwhile, Kohli also went on to contradict Ganguly’s claims that the board president had spoken personally to the skipper and urged him to reconsider his decision to quit T20I captaincy in September.
“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 offence. There was no hesitancy. I was not told to not leave the T20I captaincy rather it was received as a progressive call. In the right direction,” he added.
Meanwhile, former India captain and legendary batter Sunil Gavaskar, speaking to India Today, called for better line of communication between the board and the players and stressed that Ganguly will be the right person to ask about the discrepancy in his statement and the captain’s claims.
“I think it (Kohli’s comments) actually doesn’t bring the BCCI into the picture. I think it’s the individual who has to be asked where he got the impression he had conveyed such a message to Kohli. So that’s the only thing. Yes, he is the BCCI president and surely he should be asked why there is this discrepancy. He is probably the best person to ask about the discrepancy in what you seem to have to say and what the Indian captain has said,” Gavaskar said