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South Africa v India

Virat Kohli contradicts Sourav Ganguly in his clear-the-air press conference

Kohli Ganguly
by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Virat Kohli has openly contradicted BCCI president Sourav Ganguly’s claims over his decision to step down from T20I captaincy, clarifying that there was “no hesitation” when he communicated his decision with the BCCI and that he wasn’t once asked to “not leave T20I captaincy”.

Speaking to News18 on December 12, Ganguly had said that he had “personally requested” Kohli to not step down from T20I captaincy.

“I personally requested him [Kohli] not to give up T20 captaincy,” Ganguly was quoted as saying. “Obviously, he felt the workload. Which is fine, he has been a great cricketer, he has been very intense with his cricket. He has captained for a long period of time and these things happen.”

Ahead of the 2021 T20 World Cup, Kohli announced his decision to the quit T20I captaincy after the tournament, a stint that ended in a group-stage exit for the side last month.

On December 15, ahead of the team’s departure to South Africa, Kohli made it clear that there was “no hesitation” when he communicated his decision to the BCCI, and it was hailed as a step in the “right direction”.

“About leaving T20I captaincy, I communicated with BCCI the first,” Kohli said, “That this is my point of view and it was received well. There was no offence, there was no hesitation – I wasn’t told that I should not leave T20I captaincy, but it was received positively… that it’s a progressive step, it’s in the right direction. At that time, I said that I want to continue as captain in ODIs and Tests unless the office bearers and selectors feel that I shouldn’t be taking up that responsibility, and I clarified it on call as well.

“My communication with the BCCI was clear since then about what I want to do, and I gave them the option that if the office bearers and selectors don’t want me to, it’s in their hands.”

Kohli also revealed that he was informed about the decision to remove him from the ODI captaincy at the end of a call an hour and a half before the Test selection meeting for the South Africa tour.

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