Sourav Ganguly and Virat Kohli.
Sourav Ganguly and Virat Kohli. (PTI)

Reetinder Singh Sodhi has highlighted that Virat Kohli and Sourav Ganguly’s contradictory statements have created a messy situation. Sourav Ganguly revealed that both he and the chairman of selectors personally asked Virat Kohli not to step down as Team India’s T20I skipper. However, Virat Kohli has denied any such conversation took place between him and any of the BCCI members.

The drama all started with Virat Kohli’s announcement ahead of the 2021 T20I World Cup that he would be relinquishing his captaincy for the shorter format after the World Cup concludes. On 16 September 2021, Virat Kohli took the cricketing world and his fans by surprise when he announced stepping down from the T20 captaincy following the T20I WC in UAE.

File photo of BCCI president Sourav Ganguly and Indian Test captain Virat Kohli© AFP
File photo of BCCI president Sourav Ganguly and Indian Test captain Virat Kohli© AFP

Reetinder Singh Sodhi: Sourav Ganguly And Virat Kohli’s Contradictory Statements Have Created A Messy Situation

During a discussion, Reetinder Singh Sodhi was asked about these contrasting revelations.  Virat Kohli, while addressing the media before the team’s departure for the Test series in South Africa, said that he was informed by the selectors that he won’t be the ODI captain anymore just one and a half hours before the Test squad for the South Africa series was announced and that there was no prior communication on the same from the BCCI.

This statement of Virat Kohli contradicts the statements made by BCCI president Sourav Ganguly over the past few days. Sourav Ganguly had mentioned that he had personally spoken to Virat Kohli about the decision to name Rohit Sharma as the new ODI captain and that so did the chairman of selectors Chetan Sharma.

“This is an amazing thing. Dada, who is the Board president is saying that he had asked not to leave the captaincy and Virat is saying no talk like that had happened.”

India's Virat Kohli. Credit: Reuters Photo
India’s Virat Kohli. Credit: Reuters Photo

However, the former India all-rounder added that former skipper Sourav Ganguly’s integrity cannot be questioned.

Reetinder Singh Sodhi elaborated: “All said and done, the amount of cricket I have played with Dada, the integrity he defines, he has been a champion, so if he is saying that, he would have certainly said it. Here the Board president’s respect is extremely necessary. Only time will tell because Virat knows it better.”

Sourav Ganguly had further mentioned that Virat Kohli was asked to not step down from captaincy in T20Is, but Virat Kohli contradicted that too as he said that his decision of stepping down from T20I captaincy was well received by the Indian cricket board. It would be advisable for the duo to sort out the issue between themselves and release a joint statement to the media. Such differences, if they persist, will only be detrimental to Indian cricket.

Reetinder Singh Sodhi: One Must Respect The Selectors’ Decision

Reetinder Singh Sodhi was also asked if the selectors had enough grounds to sack Virat Kohli as the ODI skipper.

He replied: “What is the job of BCCI and the selectors? The selectors have to see who deserves it and who does not. They might have had substantial things – you can talk about performance, how can we forget the recent T20 World Cup, I don’t understand that, then everyone was saying that everybody is answerable.”

Reetinder Singh Sodhi. Photo Credit: Getty Images.
Reetinder Singh Sodhi. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

The 41-year-old concluded by stating that the selectors have only done the job they are supposed to do.

Reetinder Singh Sodhi explained: “I agree Virat Kohli is a legendary player but end of the day, everybody has to understand that we need to respect the selectors and BCCI because the selectors have done the task they should be doing, it is possible a lot of people might not have liked it.”

Virat Kohli failed to lead the team to an ICC title win – India lost to Pakistan in the 2017 Champions Trophy final, was defeated by New Zealand in the 2019 ODI World Cup semi-final, and suffered a group-stage exit in the 2021 T20 World Cup.