Former BCCI President Sourav Ganguly Opens Up On Virat Kohli Captaincy Controversy, Says ‘Board Wasn’t Prepared For His Resignation’
Virat Kohli gave up Indian Test captaincy after he was sacked as the ODI captain by the BCCI back in 2021.
Former India captain and Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Sourav Ganguly has finally opened up on one of the biggest controversies in Indian cricket in the recent year. Ganguly’s clash with former India captain Virat Kohli has been one of the major talking points over the last few years after the Indian batter suddenly gave up Test captaincy at the end of India’s tour of South Africa in 2021.
Ganguly spoke to ‘Aaj Tak’ news channel in the aftermath of India’s 209-run loss to Australia in the World Test Championship (WTC) Final at the Oval in London on Sunday. It was India’s second successive loss in the WTC Final after losing to New Zealand in the inaugural edition.
The former BCCI president revealed that the Indian board were not prepared for Kohli’s resignation and had to appoint Rohit Sharma as the all-format skipper as he was the best choice at that moment. “BCCI were not prepared for Virat Kohli leaving the Test captaincy. It was unexpected for us also after the South Africa tour. Only Virat Kohli can reveal why he left the captaincy. There is no point talking about this now because Virat Kohli left the Test captaincy. Selectors had to appoint an India captain. And Rohit was the best option at that time,” Sourav Ganguly told Aaj Tak in an exclusive interview.
Kohli announced his decision to step down from his captaincy role from the T20 format of the game ahead of the 2021 T20 World Cup. Following his decision, Kohli was then removed from his ODI captaincy duties, with rumours of a rift between Ganguly and the former skipper. He then went on to resign from the Test captaincy as well after series defeat to South Africa in 2021.
Sourav Ganguly said, "the BCCI were not prepared for Virat Kohli leaving the Test captaincy. It was unexpected for us also after the South Africa tour. After Virat left, Rohit Sharma was the best option available at that time". (On Aaj Tak). pic.twitter.com/DglU1J7Xiw— Mufaddal Vohra (@mufaddal_vohra) June 12, 2023
Ganguly went on to praise Rohit Sharma for leading the Indian side admirably. “At that time, Rohit Sharma looked the best alternate. He’s won five IPLs. Whenever he had been handed the opportunity to captain, like in the Asia Cup, he’s won. He was the best option. He’s led the team in the WTC Final as well this time around, even though we lost. We reached the World Cup semifinal, even though I didn’t play well. Before that (2021) we hadn’t even qualified (for the knockouts). I have my faith in Rohit. Only he and MS Dhoni have won the IPL five times. No one else,” Ganguly said about Rohit Sharma.
‘Winning IPL is tougher than winning World Cup’
The former BCCI president also stated that winning Indian Premier League (IPL) is tougher than winning the World Cup. “It’s not that easy to win the IPL. It’s a very tough tournament. Winning an IPL is even more difficult than a World Cup. 14 games and then you get to feature in the playoffs. You can only become a champion after winning 17 games. In World Cup, you qualify in the semis after 4-5 games. I believe Rohit was the best option then and even is right now,” Ganguly said.