'Kohli's decision is personal and BCCI respects it'


Mumbai, Jan 16 (UNI) The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President Sourav Ganguly on Sunday said that Virat Kohli's decision to step down as Test captain was personal and BCCI respects his decision.

Kohli shocked the cricketing world with his decision to step down as the Test captain of Indian team with immediate effect on Saturday.

Ganguly in a statement said: "I personally thank Virat for his immense contributions as captain of the Indian cricket team. Under his leadership, the Indian cricket team has made rapid strides in all formats of the game. His decision is a personal one and the BCCI respects it immensely".

"He will continue to be a very important member of this team and take this team to newer heights with his contributions with the bat under a new Captain. Every good thing comes to an end and this has been a very good one," he added.

"Virat Kohli has been one of the finest captains to have ever led the Indian cricket team. His record and contribution towards the team as a leader has been second to none. To lead India in 40 Test wins is proof that he led the side with aplomb," said Jay Shah, Secretary, BCCI.

"He led the team to some of its finest Test match wins in India and overseas including Australia, England, West Indies, Sri Lanka and South Africa and his efforts will inspire the fellow and upcoming cricketers who aspire to represent the country. We wish Virat the best for the future and hope that he will continue to make memorable contributions on the field for the Indian team," Shah added.

Rajeev Shukla, Vice-President, BCCI said: "A cricketer like Virat comes once in a generation and Indian cricket is fortunate to have him serve the team as a leader. He captained the side with passion and aggression and played a pivotal part in many of India’s memorable wins at home and abroad. We wish him the best for his career ahead."

In September 2021, Kohli had announced that he would give up T20 leadership following the T20 World Cup 2021. After the showpiece event, where India were eliminated in the group stage, the BCCI removed Kohli as ODI captain and appointed Rohit Sharma as new white-ball skipper.

Ganguly had reasoned that Kohli's replacement as T20 captain was a lead up to replacing him as ODI captain.

However, Kohli said he was only told 90 minutes before the official announcement that he had been sacked as India's one-day captain.

However Chief Selector Chetan Sharma contradicted Kohli's claims that he was never asked to quit the T20 captaincy and was informed about his removal from ODI captaincy only 90 minutes before the Test squad selection for South Africa tour.

"Everyone at the meeting had asked Virat to reconsider his decision to quit T20 captaincy. It can be discussed after the World Cup, Sharma told reporters after announcing the ODI team for the South Africa tour.

After taking over the reins from MS Dhoni, Kohli has led India in 68 Test matches and secured 40 wins at a win percentage of 58.82.

As the Test captain, he registered his first series win against Sri Lanka in 2015, a victory that India registered in the Emerald Island after 22 years.

Under his leadership, Team India also scripted history as they registered their first Test series win in Australia in 2018, clinched series in the West Indies, attained the No.1 spot in Test rankings and later in the subsequent years marched into the maiden ICC World Test Championship Final in 2021.