Chetan Sharma: Everyone told Virat to rethink his decision to quit T20 captaincy

Chetan Sharma, the national selection committee chairman, confirmed that the BCCI office-bearers and the selectors had requested Virat Kohli not to quit captaincy before the T20 World Cup.

India captain Virat Kohli in action during the first Test against South Africa in Centurion.   -  GETTY IMAGES

Chetan Sharma, the national selection committee chairman, confirmed that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) office-bearers and the selectors had requested Virat Kohli not to quit as the captain before the T20 World Cup.

"When the meeting started, we were all in shock. The T20 World Cup was round the corner and then, this news came. So, all of us were obviously surprised. Everyone present in that meeting told Virat to rethink this decision and also told him that we can talk about it after the World Cup," Sharma said on Friday.

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"All the selectors felt that it would affect the team in the World Cup. It was told to Virat that for the sake of Indian cricket, please continue as the captain. Everyone in the meeting - including the convenors and Board officials - told him the same. If suddenly such a news comes, who would not be shocked!" Sharma added.

"We thought that we could talk about it post the World Cup. We never wanted it to affect the team's chances. But he had his plans. We respect his decision. But at that time, everyone told him to think about his decision. The main aim for everybody is to see the Indian team on the top. We don't want controversies."

Before flying to South Africa, Kohli had said that he was never told not to quit T20 captaincy, contrary to the comments of BCCI chief Sourav Ganguly, who said that he had requested Kohli not to quit as a T20 captain before the T20 World Cup.

"Quitting T20 captaincy was his decision, ODIs was selectors'...," Sharma said, adding that there is no miscommunication or confusion between Kohli, selectors and the Board. “There’s no confusion between the Board and Virat. We wanted to announce (ODI) captaincy issue in advance because we wanted to give Rohit and Virat to get it into the system. There is no communication problem between selectors, board and players,” Sharma said.

The chairman of the panel also admitted that Virat remains a key player of the team. "Virat will continue to remain a very important player. The selectors feel the team revolves around him. But we feel there should be one captain for white-ball formats. It’s a hard decision but the selectors have to take hard decisions based on need of the hour..."

Sharma, a former India international, also clarified that there is no rift between Kohli and Rohit. "Virat and Rohit are absolutely fine. Please avoid speculation. Both plan together really well. They have fantastic camaraderie. They work together as a team, family and unit. Please leave controversies behind in 2021,” he said.

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