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20211231

Selectors, BCCI asked Virat to continue as T20I captain for sake of Indian cricket: Chetan Sharma

New Delhi : Chetan Sharma, Chairman, All India Senior-Selection Committee on Friday said that the selectors always wanted one skipper for the white-ball format, and nobody forced Virat Kohli to step down as the T20I captain. Earlier this year, Rohit Sharma replaced Virat Kohli as the white-ball captain. Sharma backed Sourav Ganguly's statement, saying that along with the BCCI president, the selectors asked Kohli to not leave the T20I captaincy. Chetan Sharma's remarks came as he announced India's squad for the upcoming three-match ODI series against South Africa. In the absence of Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul will lead the ODI side with pacer Jasprit Bumrah acting as his deputy. "It was Virat's decision, nobody told him to quit the T20I captaincy. Once he quit the captaincy of T20I, the selectors have to think because what our thinking was that there should be one captain for the white-ball format because it will be easy for the selectors to plan things. We did inform him regarding this," said Sharma during a virtual press conference. "The decision to appoint new ODI captain was taken by the selectors. As soon as the selection committee reached a decision, I immediately called up to Virat. It was a Test meeting selection, we never wanted to inform him in that selection committee, so that is why I called him when our meeting was over and I told him that this is what selectors think and there should be one white-ball captain. We had a good chat," he added. When asked whether there is confusion between the board and Kohli, Sharma said: "There is no confusion. There is no communication problem between the board, selectors, and the players. You can only inform the captain when the selectors are on the same page. I alone cannot take the call, as soon as we reached the decision, we informed Virat Kohli. When the meeting started, it was a surprise for everybody that Virat decided to leave the T20I captaincy. We never wanted any controversy." "Whoever was a part of the meeting asked Virat to consider his decision to leave T20I captaincy, it was asked that for the sake of Indian cricket, consider the decision to leave T20I captaincy as the World Cup was so near. We thought this conversation could have been had after the T20 World Cup, we respect Virat Kohli and his decision. Everybody told him to think about leaving T20I captaincy," he added. Talking about Kohli, Sharma said: "Virat is a very important player. We want him to play for India and keep scoring runs as the team revolves around him. We just wanted to go forward with one white-ball skipper. It was a hard decision but the selectors have to take hard calls." "We gave time to Rohit and Virat, they can just get into the system of how to go about things. There is no communication problem at all, the ODI team was selected today. That day we announced the Test team. It was told to Virat to please continue as the T20I captain for the sake of Indian cricket. We were in shock when he announced his intention to step down," he added. Earlier, a day after Kohli was removed as the ODI captain, BCCI President Ganguly had told ANI that he had indeed spoken to Virat regarding the leadership change adding that he had requested Virat to also not give up the T20I captaincy. "It's a call that the BCCI and the selectors took together. Actually, the BCCI had requested Virat to not step down as the T20I skipper but obviously, he did not agree. And the selectors then did not feel it right to have two different captains for two white-ball formats," Ganguly had told ANI. "So it was decided that Virat will continue as Test captain and Rohit will take over as the white-ball captain. I as President personally spoke to Virat Kohli and the Chairman of selectors has also spoken to him," the BCCI president had added.' However, Virat Kohli held a press conference and contradicted Ganguly, saying he was never asked to leave the T20I captaincy. "Whatever was said about the communication that happened during the decision that was made was inaccurate. I was contacted one-and-a-half hours before the selection meeting on 8th for the Test series," said Kohli while replying to a query from ANI during a virtual press conference.

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