Virat Kohli was instructed by BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) to stay away from the felicitation ceremony of former cricketers. The felicitation was organized by Delhi Government (AAP), which was finally cancelled at the end due to not getting permission from BCCI.
A senior BCCI official revealed, “Virat is a contracted player by the BCCI. He was clearly instructed that he should stay away from the function if it would have at all taken place. In the midst of the match, an Indian captain cannot be allowed to take part in the felicitation of a third party.”
It was not the first time that BCCI requested to the cricketer for not take part in a felicitation. They made a similar request to AB de Villiers during the second Test match of this series, who had been felicitated for his 100th Test match by royal Challenger Bangalore.
BCCI was not happy with the attitude of Delhi Government. They said that Delhi Government didn’t request them for this felicitation. He said, “Not for once did Delhi government request us for the felicitation function. Only after knowing about the protocol Padmini Singla (IAS officer and Director of Education and Sports) sent a letter to Justice Mukul Mudgal. There was no request informing us what they intended to do. They even thanked us before knowing whether they are entitled to use the FOP (Field of Play).” The official also showed the letter which was sent by Delhi government on Saturday.
Delhi Government had planned to honour the World Cup winners (1983 and 2011) from the state, along with former Indian spinner Bishan Singh Bedi, inside the Feroz Shah Kotla’s field of play.
As per BCCI rules, a ceremony without involving BCCI could not have been allowed in the field of play in the middle of a game. Currently, the ground is hosting the fourth Test between India and South Africa.
Though Delhi Government was free to use any other parts of the ground, they refused to go ahead after denied the ceremony access to the field of play.
The BCCI was also unhappy that the felicitation was planned to be telecasted live in Star Sports. The senior official said, “Advocate Rahul Mehra said that they were under the impression that Star Sports will air the event live. Who gave him that impression? And Star Sports are broadcasters of the event. It is the BCCI which is in charge of production and feed. Even then we said that Harsha Bhogle will anchor the event and we will shoot it and use it later. This is when they thought they won’t get the publicity deserved. We told them to go ahead anywhere apart from FOP (Field Of Play). They should have known that its only DDCA’s ground but the event is BCCI’s.”