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Rajagopal Satish With KKR Teammates Image Credit – BCCI
Rajagopal Satish With KKR Teammates Image Credit – BCCI
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Rajagopal Sathish Lodges Police Complaint After Claiming He Was Offered INR 40 Lakhs To Fix TNPL Matches

Rajagopal Sathish, a 40-year-old, lodged a police complaint in Bengaluru, claiming he was offered a sum of 40 lakh to fix matches. As per a report, Rajagopal Satish told the police he was approached by an Instagram user, who goes by the name Bunny Anand.  The report further stated that Rajagopal Satish didn’t take the money.

Rajagopal Sathish has played for Tamil Nadu in the Ranji Trophy and was also part of the IPL franchise Kolkata Knight Riders.  He now plays for Chepauk Super Gillies in the Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL).

Rajagopal Sathish has played 41 first-class games and 57 List A games. (Pic Credit: Chepauk Super Gullies)
Rajagopal Sathish has played 41 first-class games and 57 List A games. (Pic Credit: Chepauk Super Gullies)

Rajagopal Satish Offered INR 40 Lakh By Bunny Anand To fix TNPL Matches

As per the report, the police believe the money was offered to fix matches in TNPL, before adding that the cricketer had also approached the cricket governing body, BCCI, in this regard.

“On January 3, a person named Bunny Anand contacted Satish on Instagram and messaged him luring to pay 40 lakh and told that two players have already agreed to the offer,” the complaint read. 

Rajagopal Sathish
Rajagopal Sathish. (Photo Source: TNPL)

The 41-year-old Rajagopal Sathish was part of the Chepauk Super Gillies squad that won the TNPL 2021. The former Tamil Nadu player has also been part of Mumbai Indians, Punjab Kings, and Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL. Meanwhile, a special team has been formed to catch the accused, who police are suspecting to be in Bengaluru.

Rajagopal Satish Played 34 IPL Games, The Last Of Which Came In 2016

Rajagopal Sathish has also played 41 first-class games and 57 List A games. He was also a part of the now-defunct unsanctioned Indian Cricket League. Rajagopal Sathish played 34 matches in the IPL and scored 270 runs at an average of 15.88 and a strike rate of 116.88. He last played an IPL game in the year 2016.

Rajagopal Sathish
Rajagopal Sathish [ Image Credit – BCCI ]
Chief of BCCI’s Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) Shabbir Khandwawala has said that Rajagopal Sathish has approached the BCCI and ICC earlier this month and now the police will investigate this matter.

Atul Wassan file photo | Screengrab.
Atul Wassan file photo | Screengrab.
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Atul Wassan Reckons The 2021 T20I World Cup Debacle Put Virat Kohli Under Lot Of Pressure

Atul Wassan on Sunday said Team India’s debacle in the T20 World Cup, 2021, had put Virat Kohli under a lot of pressure. Virat Kohli on Saturday stepped down as India’s Test captain after leading the side for seven years.

Atul Wassan on Sunday said that he was shocked by Virat Kohli’s decision to step down as skipper of India’s Test team. Atul Wassan said that the star batsman was under pressure. India made an early exit from the group stage in the 2021 T20I World Cup in UAE which was eventually won by Australia.
Atul Wassan | Twitter
Atul Wassan | Twitter

Atul Wassan: There Was Pressure On Virat Kohli After India’s Debacle At 2021 T20I World Cup

The resignation comes on the back of exchanges between him and the BCCI. The exchange started with his T20I resignation before the 2021 World Cup. In December 2021, the BCCI then stripped Virat Kohli of the ODI captaincy, naming Rohit Sharma as the new leader.

“Nothing shocks me. What shocked me was Mahendra Singh Dhoni quitting Test captaincy in the middle of the series in Australia. I think the way things have been going by the last couple of months India’s debacle in the T20 WC there was pressure on him. He is not getting runs. At times he is pointing fingers at other players and as a captain, he must do that to egg them on and I totally support him for that but the problem was that earlier he was leading by example but lately, the thing is that his batsmanship has come down,” Atul Wassan said.

Virat Kohli with Rohit Sharma
Virat Kohli with Rohit Sharma IMAGE: AFP

“Every batsman, every player goes through that and it could accentuate that he was captaining all three formats. He also started the conundrum when he said he doesn’t want to do T20 captaincy which was the right decision but I think the board actually took it in a skewed manner and he never expected that he would lose his 50 over captaincy because his goal was to win the World Cup. This is what was missing from his cupboard,” he added.

Virat Kohli on Saturday shocked the cricket fraternity by deciding to step down from the Test captaincy following the conclusion of the three-match Test series against South Africa. The 33-year-old ended his reign by losing the three-match Test series 1-2.

Virat Kohli has been one of India’s most successful white-ball captains. In 95 ODIs, he won 65, giving him a winning percentage of 70-plus. In 45 T20Is, he led India to victory 27 times. The disappointment of not being able to win a Test series in South Africa in two attempts (2017-18 and 2021-22) as captain and the personal form of not being able to score a Test hundred in 2 years may have cluttered his mind for long and made him take this decision.

Atul Wassan: The Things Would Have Been Different If India Won The Test Series Against South Africa

Atul Wassan further said that the scenario would have been different if Team India would have won the Test series in South Africa.

“Things change quickly in world cricket and when you are on a razor’s edge you have to perform and that is why I have said Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara have to pull their weight and that is What Kohli must be thinking. He has won the World Cup already but as a captain, it would have been cherry on the top and that is what he wanted,” said Atul Wassan.

“But looking at things he must have thought that I have to start the WTC cycle again. He could not win a Test series in South Africa. Probably he could have won in South Africa then things could have been different,” he added.

Virat Kohli with MS Dhoni Aijaz Rahi / AP
Virat Kohli with MS Dhoni Aijaz Rahi / AP

Virat Kohli has been the most successful Test captain India has ever produced. After taking over the reins from MS Dhoni, he has led India in 68 Test matches and secured 40 wins at a win percentage of 58.82. As 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 of hiatus.

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. Virat Kohli also holds the impeccable record of winning 24 out of the 31 Tests played at home as captain, having lost only two Tests.

Virat Kohli in action during the third day of the WTC final against New Zealand. (File)
Virat Kohli in action during the third day of the WTC final against New Zealand. (File)
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Virat Kohli Refuses To Quit As Test Captain In His 100th Test At Bengaluru Against Sri Lanka

Virat Kohli had wanted could have quit as Test captain amid fanfare, after celebrating his 100th Test in Bengaluru, his IPL home, against Sri Lanka in late February.

A senior BCCI official offered a farewell match as captain to Virat Kohli and a gala in Bengaluru during a phone call on Friday when he conveyed the decision to step down.

Virat Kohli, Image Source : AP IMAGE
Virat Kohli, Image Source: AP IMAGE

Virat Kohli Refused To Quit As Test Skipper In His 100th Test At Bengaluru Against Sri Lanka

That meant Virat Kohli’s highly successful stint as Test skipper ended with a series and Test defeat. His predecessor, MS Dhoni, called an end to Test captaincy and even career after a draw in the 2014 Melbourne Test, after playing 90 matches, winning 27 Tests out of 60 Tests captained.

Virat Kohli refused. “One match makes no difference. That’s not how I am,” he is known to have said.

Virat Kohli with MS Dhoni Aijaz Rahi / AP
Virat Kohli with MS Dhoni Aijaz Rahi / AP

MS Dhoni is one of the two people Virat Kohli thanked in Saturday’s tweet announcing his resignation.

“A big thank you to MS Dhoni who believed in me as a Captain and found me to be an able individual who could take Indian Cricket forward,” he said.

Before making his decision public, Virat Kohli spoke with head coach Rahul Dravid, his teammates in the dressing room at Newlands cricket ground, and then to BCCI.  Virat Kohli was disappointed with the lost opportunity of beating South Africa despite taking the series lead.

While BCCI was happy to offer another series for Virat Kohli to lead, it is learned he wanted to give up the pressures and responsibilities that come as captain to focus on batting. Virat Kohli who scored two blazing hundreds on debut as Test captain in Adelaide seven years back was searching for form in his final match as captain, playing two important but laborious knocks at Cape Town. Virat Kohli has averaged 28.14 since January 2020.

“I have always believed in giving my 120 percent in everything I do, and if I can’t do that, I know it’s not the right thing to do. I have absolute clarity in my heart and I cannot be dishonest to my team,” Kohli said in tweet.

In a span of three months, India’s all-powerful, all-format captain will return to being only a player. Virat Kohli is so far the most successful Test captain India has ever had. Under his captaincy, India played a total of 68 Test matches of which the side won 40, drew 11, and lost 17 games.

Rohit Sharma Will Be Announced Test Skipper Only If The Selectors Are Convinced His Body Can Take Workload Of Leading Across Formats

BCCI is not in a hurry to announce Virat Kohli’s successor for Tests. A call would only be taken closer to the Sri Lanka Test series next month. Those under consideration are Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul. While Rohit Sharma is the designated vice-captain, the national selectors, it is learned, would give the nod only if they are convinced his body can take the workload of leading across formats.

India has a heavy schedule, both home and away, across formats in the next two years. It includes the T20 World Cup in October and the race to qualify for the 2023 World Test Championship final, followed by the ODI World Cup in India. KL Rahul is seen as the long-term alternative to rebuild the Test team, which is set for changes in batting.

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma. Image Credits: Twitter

A final decision will be taken in the upcoming weeks. Both KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma will both be in action. KL Rahul will lead India in the three-match ODI series in South Africa starting on Wednesday 19th January. Rohit Sharma is expected to regain fitness to lead in the home ODI series against West Indies, starting on February 6.

Rohit Sharma’s hamstring injury, after replacing Ajinkya Rahane as Test vice-captain, ruled him out of the South Africa tour. It is known to have forced the selectors to have a long hard look at his fitness levels and workload. Rohit Sharma’s left hamstring injury had also prevented him from playing in all the matches in the 2020 IPL, followed by the limited-overs series in Australia and the first two Tests there.

Mohammad Amir | AFP
Mohammad Amir | AFP
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Virat Kohli Is A True Leader For Being The Inspiration For Young Cricketers, Says Mohammad Amir

Virat Kohli left the cricketing world in shock on Saturday after he announced that he was quitting India captaincy in the Test format. The star batter made the announcement on social media, a day after India lost the three-match series against South Africa 1-2.

Under Virat Kohli, the Indian Test team rose to the top of the world rankings and also notched up its maiden series win in Australia in 2018-2019. The series triumph against the Aussies perhaps underlined the leadership skills of Virat Kohli, who wore his heart on his sleeve. He signed off with 40 wins and 17 losses in 68 Tests as captain which is the best win percentage and most wins of any Indian skipper in Tests.

 

Virat Kohli, Image Source : AP IMAGE
Virat Kohli, Image Source: AP IMAGE

Virat Kohli Is A True Leader For Being The Inspiration For Young Cricketers: Mohammad Amir

Former Pakistan pacer Mohammad Amir took to Twitter to congratulate Virat Kohli for his outstanding stint as India Test captain. Mohammad Amir said that Virat Kohli is a “true leader” and an “inspiration for young cricketers”.

“@imVkohli brother for me u are a true leader of the upcoming generation in cricket because u are the inspiration for young Cricketers. keep rocking on and of the field,” wrote Amir on Twitter.

Mohammad Amir congratulated Virat Kohli for his outstanding stint as India Test captain.© Twitter
Mohammad Amir congratulated Virat Kohli for his outstanding stint as India Test captain.© Twitter

The left arm-pacer Mohammad Amir has represented Pakistan in 36 Test matches, 61 ODIs, and 50 T20Is. He has also played for Pakistan Super League (PSL) franchise Karachi Kings. In addition, he has recently played for Barbados Royals during the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) 2021.

The pacer played 36 Tests, 61 ODIs, and 50 T20Is before announcing retirement. Mohammad Amir has represented the Pakistan cricket team in 50 T20I matches, scalping 59 wickets at an economy rate of 7.02. His last appearance for the Pakistan cricket team came during the side’s England tour last year.

He was a part of the playing XI that played in the second T20I of the series in Manchester on August 30, 2020. He represented Pakistan in 36 Tests and took 119 wickets at an average of 30.47. He also featured in 61 ODIs and claimed 81 wickets at an average of 29.62.

Virat Kohli Is Most Successful Test Skipper

Virat Kohli is India’s most successful Test captain when it comes to the number of wins in the longest format. He had led India in 68 Tests, registering 40 victories and with a win percentage of 58.82. Under Virat Kohli’s leadership in 2018-19, India scripted history by becoming the first Asian team to register a Test series win in Australia.

Virat Kohli with MS Dhoni Aijaz Rahi / AP
Virat Kohli with MS Dhoni Aijaz Rahi / AP

Under his leadership, India also stayed on top of the ICC Test Rankings for consecutive years and reached the final of the ICC World Test Championship in 2021. However, India went on to lose the WTC final to New Zealand. India will play their next Test match against Sri Lanka at home and the BCCI now has the task of finding a new captain for the Indian team in the longest format.

When Virat Kohli took full-time charge of the Test team, in Australia in 2014-15 after MS Dhoni’s shock decision to retire mid-series, India was languishing as low as seventh in the ICC rankings.

From there to taking the team to No. 1 in the world rankings and staying there for five years had been a spectacular turnaround. Virat Kohli won 40 Test matches, which is 13 more than next-best MS Dhoni.

Virat Kohli in action during the third day of the WTC final against New Zealand. (File)
Virat Kohli in action during the third day of the WTC final against New Zealand. (File)
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Virat Kohli’s Sudden Decision To Relinquish Test Captaincy Shocked Kiran More, MSK Prasad, Chandrakant Pandit And Madan Lal

Virat Kohli stepping down as Test captain through his tweet came as a shock to the cricketing fraternity and follows the sequence of him announcing his resignation as T20 captain late last year.

The ODI reins also were snatched from him when the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced Rohit Sharma as the ODI captain for the tour of South Africa, which has eventually gone to KL Rahul as the holder of three double centuries in the 50-over format has not recovered in time for the ODIs in the Rainbow Nation starting on January 19.

Virat Kohli, Image Source : AP IMAGE
Virat Kohli, Image Source: AP IMAGE

Virat Kohli’s Sudden Decision To Relinquish Test Captaincy Shocked Kiran More And MSK Prasad

While the cricketing fraternity was still searching for answers as to what would have prompted Virat Kohli to take this extreme decision, a majority of the people did not see this coming while only a few may claim to have expected this following the 1-2 Test series loss in South Africa.

Virat Kohli – the most successful Indian Test captain with 40 wins from 2014 Adelaide till the day before yesterday in Cape Town and having captained the country in most Tests, 68 – did not want to be sacked as the Test skipper by the BCCI.

Perhaps he did not want to get into a situation in which the great England all-rounder Ian Botham found himself in the 1981 Ashes Tests in his country. Ian Botham stepped down from Test captaincy after the second Test at Lord’s as form abandoned him and wins weren’t coming.

File image of Kiran More | AFP
File image of Kiran More | AFP

It was a series in which Ian Botham was appointed Test captain match after match and not for the entire series, and was on trial. It was the series in which, after he relinquished the captaincy, England went on to win the Ashes through his heroics that included the famous Headingley Test, which is popularly known as the Ian Botham Test.

Former chairman of selectors, MSK Prasad, was “shocked” at Virat Kohli stepping down from captaincy.

“I am still not able to digest the fact that he has stepped down from Test captaincy. Am still searching for the reasons for him stepping down as Test captain. I felt that he still has a lot to offer as a captain and as a player in Tests,” Prasad said from Hyderabad.

Another former chairman of selectors and former India wicketkeeper, Kiran More, was disappointed at Virat Kohli’s sudden decision to step down from Test captaincy.

“The way he has left is a bit sad,” More said.

“The way people have treated him, and I am not talking of the BCCI, and criticized him was not fair. He has played a lot of cricket, he has done well for India. Let’s not forget he is a World Cup winner (2011). He has got 70 international hundreds and is a special player. Performance-wise, we cannot touch him. I am not worried about him stepping down from T20 or ODI captaincy. The way people were criticising him was not good.”

Kiran More felt that the onus now was on the chief coach, Rahul Dravid, and the selectors to regroup the Indian Test team under a new captain.

“This always happens. People have to come together and regroup. That’s the job of Rahul Dravid and the selectors. They are matured cricketers. It is not going to be easy and will take time for the Indian team to settle down. You play Test cricket with your heart. He’s got to perform. Kohli’s 79 and 29 in Cape Town were like 150 on difficult pitch.”

On what lies ahead for Virat Kohli the batsman, Kiran More said: “It is not easy to leave captaincy. He was the captain in all three formats. He must have decided to focus on his batting and win matches for the country. He has always played freely to score 70 international hundreds. The time comes in every captain’s life to move on. Every captain feels it and perhaps he has felt it now.”

The disappointment of not being able to win a Test series in South Africa in two attempts (2017-18 and 2021-22) as captain and the personal form of not being able to score a Test hundred may have cluttered his mind for long and made him take this decision.

But, one positive thing for India is Virat Kohli will now be a player without the weight of expectations of leading India to this victory and that. Virat Kohli can only raise his already-high standards and play as a senior pro and guide the youngsters and the new Test captain with his experience and expertise.

Chandrakant Pandit Was Surprised By Virat Kohli’s Decision

Kiran More’s India team-mate and fellow wicketkeeper, now a successful coach in the domestic circuit, Chandrakant Pandit, was left a little surprised with Kohli’s decision.

“It is a little surprising. I don’t know the reasons,” said Pandit, pondering at his room in Indore, where is planning for Madhya Pradesh as the State team’s head coach.

“He has always been the man behind the success of the Indian team. I have always loved to watch him for his aggression as a player and as a captain. I always like somebody motivating his players, leading from the front and Kohli always had that attitude. I am surprised that he has taken this decision so quickly,” Pandit said.

Chandrakant Pandit hoped that Virat Kohli has not relinquished Test captaincy for the simple reason that India lost the Test series in South Africa.

He said: “It should not be the reason as winning and losing are a part of the game. He is also a role model on the ground to motivate the team. He could have gone for another one or two years (as captain). He has got tremendous fitness. Performances go up and down and that does not mean one gives up captaincy, especially of his calibre.”

While Pandit did agree that the burdens of captaincy off his shoulders would make a difference to Kohli, he said: “He is not one to take pressure. He has always given pressure to others when he is batting or leading the side. That always helps the youngsters in the team. He is not one of those who performs well only without the captaincy pressures. In fact, he likes the challenges of captaincy.”

Madan Lal. Image-Twitter
Madan Lal. Image-Twitter

“I hope whoever is the new captain, he continues with the same aggression as Kohli. The Indian team needs this kind of aggression. The Indian team has tremendous talent. Just that it needs that fire, which we have always seen in Kohli. We talk about batsmen carrying on with the momentum. This Indian team needs to carry on with the momentum from Kohli’s captaincy.”

Former India all-rounder and a selector, Madan Lal, agreed with Chandrakant Pandit’s view that Virat Kohli’s decision should not have been influenced by the lack of success in the Test series in South Africa, and that he wanted to see him for another year or two as Test captain.

Lal said: “What next? He’ll keep on playing for the country and keep on performing. The game is all about performance, nothing else. You have to keep on performing and keep on playing. At the end of the day, it is a performance that counts.

“Kohli has done a very good job as a captain. I wanted to see him as Test captain for one or two years. I like his aggressive nature. People say that he has not got a century for more than two years. But, he has got runs. His contribution is immense. I like his captaincy for his aggressiveness, whatever decision he has taken, he is very positive.”

Madan Lal, a medium-pacer in his days and a crucial member of the 1983 World Cup-winning Indian team, acknowledged Virat Kohli’s liking to pack his team with fast bowlers.

“Another thing I liked about Kohli’s captaincy was that he recognised the importance of pace bowlers. When he took over, he knew that he wanted to have four to five fast bowers who could win Test matches for the country.”

Madan Lal stressed that it was not the bowlers who let the team down in South Africa but the batsmen.

“In South Africa, the Indian batting failed, not the bowling department. Kohli has always encouraged fast bowlers and won many games with them. When you have a world-class fast bowler and a world-class spinner, you always win a few more games than anybody else,” the 70-year-old Lal said.

The talk of Virat Kohli not being able to win an ICC Trophy may have annoyed Virat Kohli, felt Madan Lal.

“Perhaps, he was annoyed by the sacking as 50-over captain. He was clear he’d give up 20-over captaincy but not 50-over and Test captaincy. Maybe there was a lack of communication with the selectors, I don’t know. I don’t agree that it has got to do with him not being able to lead India to an ICC trophy win,” Lal said.

Lal said that giving up captaincy might relax Kohli a little, but “the pressure is always going to be there. You are free of pressure only when you score runs. He has set high standards for himself and has to maintain them. That is the pressure he is going to have”.

Virat Kohli on Saturday stunned the cricking world with his sudden decision of relinquishing captaincy in Tests. His decision comes after Team India lost the 3-match Test series to South Africa 2-1. Virat Kohli led in 68 Test matches out of which the team registered victory in 40 games. 17 of them ended in a draw and lost 11 face-offs. Virat Kohli won 40 matches, which is 13 more than next-best MS Dhoni.

Virat Kohli with Rohit Sharma
Virat Kohli with Rohit Sharma IMAGE: AFP
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Virat Kohli’s Decision To Quit Test Captaincy Means Rohit Sharma May Be Next Test Skipper For Test Series Against Sri Lanka

Virat Kohli’s relations with the BCCI have reached its lowest ebb, as it can be safely concluded that Virat Kohli has ‘retired hurt,’ the decision only accentuated by a shock defeat against the weakest South African Test side in recent times. It was a Twitter message on September 16 when he informed the world about his decision to quit the T20I captaincy, keen to focus all his energies on Test cricket and ODI format keeping the 2023 World Cup in mind.

Exactly, one day short of four months, the 33-year-old has now joined the list of former India captains in Tests, having announced his decision of stepping down for the second time, this time from the traditional format. In between, he was sacked from the 50-over format, much to his dismay where he spent at least six and a half years of his seven-year captaincy tenure.

Virat Kohli, Image Source : AP IMAGE
Virat Kohli, Image Source: AP IMAGE

Virat Kohli Congratulated By Jay Shah On His Tenure As Indian Test Skipper While Rohit Sharma Favourite To Lead India In Tests

Rohit Sharma was the designated Test vice-captain for the tour of South Africa and there won’t be any change to that hierarchy that BCCI has set in place. By natural progression, if all goes well and he is fit, Rohit Sharma will be leading India in Test match cricket with KL Rahul being his deputy. The home series against Sri Lanka will be the first assignment for Rohit Sharma.

However, with two World Cups in two years and so much of cricket, KL Rahul could be seen leading the team from time to time as and when Rohit Sharma takes a break as a part of workload management.  If BCCI sources are to be believed, there has been no prior discussions with any of the top brass as he had burnt his bridges in the pre-departure press conference that became his undoing.

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma. Image Credits: Twitter

The establishment for once had no inclination to stop him from stepping down. However, before putting out a formal statement, he had informed the BCCI top brass that he is tired. Rahul Dravid is creating a succession plan and the roadmap ahead. This team has moved beyond Virat Kohli as the leader as it will now only be about Virat Kohli as the batsman. So it wasn’t surprising at all when BCCI secretary Jay Shah congratulated Virat Kohli on his decision, which was in one way, an immediate acceptance of his resignation.

“Congratulations to Virat kohli on a tremendous tenure as Team India captain. Virat turned the team into a ruthless fit unit that performed admirably both in India and away. The Test wins in Australia & England have been special,” Shah tweeted.

The series defeat and lack of runs have also pushed him to a corner and with all his support system in and outside the team gone, one of the world’s finest batters had lost the zeal. When Virat Kohli had decided to quit the T20I captaincy, just prior to that, he had a meeting with BCCI president Sourav Ganguly, secretary Jay Shah, five selectors. Even Rohit Sharma was present in that meeting.

Virat Kohli referred to this “very meeting” where he had expressed his desire to quit the T20I captaincy and which he said was accepted well by everyone. This is the same meeting that Sourav Ganguly had referred to when he said that he had requested Virat Kohli to stay back as captain.

In between what no one spoke about was how Virat Kohli had come with a proposal of having KL Rahul as his deputy in ODIs while Rohit Sharma remained captain in only T20 format. That proposal was immediately shot down as it would have meant Rohit Sharma would have missed the ODI captaincy despite being a deserving candidate for the job. In this backdrop, Virat Kohli had miscalculated one aspect. He never expected that the BCCI would sack him from ODI captaincy on the pretext of “too much leadership”.

Virat Kohli Contradicted BCCI President Sourav Ganguly Who Stated That He Had Asked Him To Not Resign As T20I Skipper

Someone who has played all his cricket under MS Dhoni, a man who has lived and left on his own terms, Virat Kohli found the sacking difficult to digest. He made a calculated insinuation at BCCI president Sourav Ganguly, accusing the former stalwart of lying (without naming) that the former skipper had asked to him stay back as T20 captain till the World Cup.

That was his first brush with the establishment. Having ended with a bloody nose, BCCI waited and then unleashed its chairman of selectors Chetan Sharma to defend the establishment. The former pacer on his part completely contradicted Virat Kohli.

Virat Kohli wasn’t a fool not to read the writing on the wall when he would have learned that BCCI has thrown a counter-punch on a 31st night when the team was celebrating. He knew that he needed to win the next Test series in order to hold his ground.

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

Ask any of his teammates, Virat Kohli the batter has the highest respect for his heady achievements and the manic consistency but there was a point between 2017-19 when the Committee of Administrators was in power and the Indian skipper with coach Ravi Shastri by his side had the carte blanche as far as his team-building was concerned.

Somehow, the batsman Virat Kohli earned a lot of respect and unlike an Imran Khan, who had complete devotion from his team, Virat Kohli perhaps found himself in a tight corner. When Jasprit Bumrah on the second day’s end was asked how much has been captain Virat Kohli’s hand in his development, the pacer had replied: “A bowler’s development also depends on his own hard work”. It’s a simple line but said a lot.

Virat Kohli won’t be seen in a press meet for the Indian team in near future. That’s a probable certainty and he looked jaded, tired, and spent when he came for the media interaction.  The answer to a very valid and pointed question on losing focus due to unnecessary stump-mic chatter was more a gibberish one where he only knew what he was trying to explain.

In his farewell note, there wasn’t any thank you note for Rahul Dravid, which he had reserved for the previous coach Ravi Shastri. All captains have a shelf life and better placed are those who judge earlier that it’s time to leave. Virat Kohli judged it but only after the damage was done.

Sourav Ganguly and Virat Kohli.
Sourav Ganguly and Virat Kohli. (PTI)
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Virat Kohli’s Decision To Quit As Test Skipper Is A Personal One And BCCI Respects It: Sourav Ganguly

Virat Kohli on Saturday stunned the cricking world with his sudden decision of relinquishing captaincy in Tests. His decision comes after Team India lost the 3-match Test series to South Africa 2-1. Back in 2014, he led India for the first time in the longest format of the game after which he took the team to newer heights in the past seven years.

It’s a deniable fact that Virat Kohli was the best skipper to lead India in Test cricket. He led in 68 Test matches out of which the team registered victory in 40 games. 17 of them ended in a draw and lost 11 face-offs. He stands fourth on the list of captains with most Test wins after the likes of Graeme Smith, Ricky Ponting, and Steve Smith.

Virat Kohli[photo: Twitter]
Virat Kohli[photo: Twitter]

Virat Kohli’s Decision To Quit As Test Skipper Is A Personal One And BCCI Respects It: Sourav Ganguly

As Virat Kohli left his post, the cricket fraternity came forward to shower praise on the man who left no stone unturned in the past years to change the face of Indian cricket. Former captain and BCCI President Sourav Ganguly took to Twitter and called Virat Kohli a ‘great player’.

“Under Virats leadership, Indian cricket has made rapid strides in all formats of the game ..his decision is a personal one and BCCI respects it immensely ..he will be an important member to take this team to newer heights in the future. A great player. Well done,” Ganguly tweeted.

 

Virat Kohli on Saturday took to his social media accounts and posted a heartfelt message to announce his decision. He thanked every individual who was involved in his journey as a leader of the pack. He made a special mention to former captain and wicketkeeper MS Dhoni for believing in him and showing his trust.

Earlier in September 2021, he had said that he will step down from the T20I captaincy just ahead of the ICC T20I World Cup. It was later revealed that BCCI had asked him to rethink as BCCI didn’t want multiple captains in limited-overs cricket.

Virat Kohli Was Replaced By Rohit Sharma As Full Time White Ball Skipper

Following India’s narrow Test series loss to South Africa earlier this week, Virat Kohli on Saturday announced that he has decided to quit the Test captaincy. Earlier, Virat Kohli had relinquished the T20 captaincy after India’s campaign at the T20 World Cup in the UAE. He was then replaced by Rohit Sharma’s as India’s full-time white-ball skipper last month.

Virat Kohli with Rohit Sharma
Virat Kohli with Rohit Sharma IMAGE: AFP

Virat Kohli steps down from his role as India’s most successful Test captain, having recorded 40 wins in 68 matches. He is fourth in the list of captains with the most Test wins behind South Africa’s Graeme Smith (53) and Australian greats Ricky Ponting (43) and Steve Waugh (41).

Under his leadership, Team India reached new heights, including a Test series win in Australia. India also came close to winning the World Test Championship (WTC), losing out to New Zealand in the final. Virat Kohli won 40 matches, which is 13 more than MS Dhoni.

Virat Kohli captained India in 25 series. He won 18, lost six, and drew one series. Under him, India won 16 away Tests – the most for India, ahead of Sourav Ganguly who had won 11.

Virat Kohli has stepped down as captain of India’s Test team, with immediate effect, a day after losing the Test series to South Africa 2-1 with a seven-wicket loss in Cape Town. He took over as full-time Test captain in early 2015, when MS Dhoni had announced retirement in Australia, and ended up as India’s most successful Test captain ever.
Washington Sundar
Washington Sundar
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Washington Sundar Tests Covid-19 Positive And Unlikely To Feature In ODI Series Against South Africa

Washington Sundar has tested positive for COVID-19 and is now a doubtful starter for the three-match ODI series against South Africa, starting January 19.

The 22-year-old spinner was to travel to Cape Town from Mumbai along with other members of the ODI squad but there is no clarity if he has even reached Mumbai.

Washington Sundar, the 22-year-old all-rounder was to travel to Cape Town along with other members of the ODI squad © Getty
Washington Sundar, the 22-year-old all-rounder was to travel to Cape Town along with other members of the ODI squad © Getty

Washington Sundar Tests Covid-19 Positive

An office-bearer confirmed that the 22-year-old tested positive a few days back and won’t travel to South Africa. Washington Sundar has been out of the action of international cricket for almost 10 months – he last played for India in March 2021 – because of injuries.

He recently recovered and was part of the Tamil Nadu squad for the Vijay Hazare Trophy in which he did fairly well leading to his recall into the ODI squad. However, his international return may be temporarily scuppered because of the Covid infection.

“He tested positive some days back and it has been decided that he will not travel with the squad.”

India debutant Washington Sundar celebrates his half century during day three of the 4th Test Match in the series between Australia and India at The Gabba on January 17, 2021 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Albert Perez - CA/Cricket Australia via Getty Images)
India debutant Washington Sundar celebrates his half-century during day three of the 4th Test Match in the series between Australia and India at The Gabba on January 17, 2021, in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Albert Perez – CA/Cricket Australia via Getty Images)

Washington Sundar has been out of the action of international cricket for almost 10 months – he last played for India in March 2021 – because of injuries. He recently recovered and was part of the Tamil Nadu squad for the Vijay Hazare Trophy in which he did fairly well leading to his recall into the ODI squad. However, his international return may be temporarily scuppered because of the Covid infection.

Washington Sundar made his India debut in an ODI back in 2017 against Sri Lanka at the tender age of 18. Although that game remains his only appearance in the 50-over format, the off-spinner has played 31 T20Is and 4 Tests since debuting in ODIs.

Jayant Yadav Asked To Stay Back

Meanwhile, according to BCCI sources, discussions are underway if a replacement can be organized. The selection committee has not yet met formally but chairman Chetan Sharma has been in touch with BCCI president Sourav Ganguly and secretary Jay Shah over this and a decision is expected by evening. The delay in the decision on the matter is because the BCCI top brass was occupied with the Governing Council meeting of the IPL.

The ODI squad, to be led by KL Rahul, has two other spinners in Ravichandran Ashwin and Yuzvendra Chahal. After the first ODI in Paarl on January 19, India will play the second match, also in Paarl, on January 21 and round off the six-match tour with the third ODI at Newlands Stadium in Cape Town on January 23.

Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin AFP
Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin AFP

Jayant Yadav will stay back in South Africa for the three-match ODI series. Jayant Yadav will be part of the ODI team as a replacement for Washington Sundar who has tested positive for Covid-19 before departure. The rest of the players selected for the ODIs, (Yuzvendra Chahal, Shikhar Dhawan, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan, Venkatesh Iyer, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, and Prasidh Krishna) departed for Cape Town on Wednesday morning.

With no Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel not available for the series due to injuries, there are concerns over the depth in the batting line-up. Washington’s ability to bat down the order was seen as the link between the middle-order and the lower order.

Jayant Yadav has a sound batting technique and is reliable down the order. He has a Test century against his name too. He is being seen as a like-for-like replacement for Washington Sundar

File photo of BCCI headquarters in Mumbai | Getty
File photo of BCCI headquarters in Mumbai | Getty
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BCCI Expected To Earn INR 130 Crores More From Tata Group Who Replaces Vivo As IPL 2022 And 2023 Title Sponsor

BCCI has brought on board Tata Group and according to the deal document, the board is expected to earn around Rs 130 crore more from the deal it had with Vivo which was supposed to run till 2023. The Tata Group has replaced Vivo as the title sponsor for IPL. Vivo has terminated its contract with two editions remaining.

The relationship between BCCI and Vivo had hit rough waters in 2020 when the latter decided to opt out of sponsoring the 2020 IPL season in the UAE. With two new IPL teams coming in and the number of matches going up, the board was slated to earn Rs 996 crore from Vivo over the next two editions.

BCCI (File Photo| PTI)
BCCI (File Photo| PTI)

BCCI Brought Tata Group As IPL’s Title Sponsors

Vivo had offered Rs 484 cr and Rs 512 cr instead of Rs 440 cr for the two remaining seasons. Tata has offered to pay Rs 335 crores per season as a rights fee and Vivo will have to shell out around Rs 450 cr (including assignment fee) for a smooth exit from the contract. That takes BCCI’s earnings for these two seasons to Rs 1124 cr.

The Tata Group also wants to extend the deal to a five-year contract. BCCI is supposed to invite fresh tenders for the title sponsorship for the 2024-28 cycle. However, BCCI will give Tata an option to the right to match once the fresh bidding happens in 2024. This will mean Tata will have to match the highest bid to retain IPL’s title sponsorship and it will ensure BCCI doesn’t miss out on a hefty value.

BCCI Image-Twitter/ BCCI
BCCI Image-Twitter/ BCCI

BCCI, in the past, had a contract with DLF (IPL’s first title sponsors) which had a clause that a contract could be extended beyond five years if both parties negotiated in good faith.

“This is indeed a momentous occasion for the BCCI IPL as the Tata Group is the epitome of global Indian enterprise with an over 100 year old legacy and operations in more than 100 countries across six continents. The BCCI, like the TATA Group, is keen to promote the spirit of cricket across international borders, and the growing popularity of the IPL as a global sporting franchise bears testimony to the BCCI’s efforts.”

“We are truly happy that India’s largest and most trusted business groups have believed in the IPL growth story and together with the Tata Group, we will look to take Indian cricket and the IPL forward to greater heights,” BCCI secretary Jay Shah said in a statement.

The salt-to-software group is likely to pay ₹300 crores per year, about 60% of what Vivo would have paid as the title sponsor of IPL for the next two seasons, a person aware of the matter said on condition of anonymity.

BCCI And Vivo Had Agreed To Pause The Deal Signed By Vivo For IPL 2020

The Tata group has replaced Chinese mobile phone manufacturer Vivo as the title sponsor of the Indian Premier League 2022 and 2023. Vivo and BCCI had agreed to “pause” the ₹2,190-crore deal signed by Vivo for the 2018-2022 cycle for the 13th edition of IPL in 2020 as both, the handset maker and the board, were caught in a swirl of negative publicity following the India-China military clash in Ladakh’s Galwan Valley in June 2020.

IPL Trophy
IPL Trophy, Image Credits: Twitter

Experts said Vivo has established its name in the Indian market and that after a one-year gap in 2020, when Dream11 picked up the title rights for half the amount the Chinese firm had paid, Vivo’s top bosses also realized the company had overpaid for the rights.

As per the contract, Vivo may assign the rights to a third party but it will have to pay a 5% assignment fee. In 2019, Oppo, which was a Team India sponsor (jersey rights holder) for five years since 2017, transferred the rights to Byju’s in a similar way. Similarly, in 2016, PepsiCo had assigned IPL title rights to Vivo for the remaining two years of its original five-year deal.

File photo of BCCI headquarters in Mumbai | Getty
File photo of BCCI headquarters in Mumbai | Getty
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BCCI Will Likely Pause And Postpone The Ongoing Cooch Behar Trophy After 57 Members Tested COVID-19 Positive

BCCI is likely to pause and postpone the ongoing Cooch Behar Trophy after several players tested positive for COVID-19. Under-19 Cooch Behar Knockout Trophy is in jeopardy after 57 people – including players, support staff, and others – tested positive for Covid-19.

The development comes after the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) decided to postpone the Ranji Trophy, the Senior Women’s T20 League for the 2021-22 season, and Col CK Nayudu Trophy due to the rising cases of Covid-19 in the country. Among the 57 infected people, 30 are players, nine are support staff, and the rest are groundsmen and match officials who were going to be a part of the tournament.

BCCI (File Photo| PTI)
BCCI (File Photo| PTI)

BCCI Will Take A Call On Covid Affected Under-19 Cooch Behar Knockout Trophy

The BCCI hasn’t called off the tournament yet but a decision will be taken soon. BCCI on Monday postponed the knockout phase of the Cooch Behar Trophy (for Under-19), which was set to kick off from Tuesday in Pune, due to the rising number of Covid-19 cases in all the teams. A formal announcement from the Board to this effect is expected anytime.

“We will take a call on it soon. As the tournament was already on, we didn’t want it to stop but soon we will have to take a decision on it,” a BCCI official was quoted as saying.

A total of 8 teams – Maharashtra, Vidarbha, Mumbai, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Haryana, and Bengal have qualified for the tournament. Out of the thirty infected players, six are from Mumbai while every team has an infected player; most of them are asymptomatic, the report stated further.

Action Between Mumbai And J&K In U19 Cooch Behar Trophy File/ GK
Action Between Mumbai And J&K In U19 Cooch Behar Trophy File/ GK

All teams were scheduled to play four-day knockout games in Pune starting Tuesday. Mumbai and Maharashtra played their last game in Pune and are stationed there. Other teams arrived from their respective locations on Saturday and were directed to undergo a three-day quarantine. The reports also stated that the players have to share rooms and undergo daily tests for the next three days.

BCCI Postponed 3 Domestic Tournaments Earlier

A few days ago, BCCI had taken the call to postpone three domestic tournaments.  In a press release, secretary Jay Shah had stated that the health and safety of the players and everyone else involved in the game were paramount.

“BCCI does not want to compromise the safety of the players, support staff, match officials and other participants involved and hence, has decided to put the three tournaments on hold till further notice. The BCCI will continue to assess the situation and take a call on the start of the tournaments accordingly,” Shah had said.

Sourav Ganguly. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Sourav Ganguly. (Photo Source: Twitter)

His statement had come just a few days after BCCI president Sourav Ganguly had said that the board will go ahead with its domestic cricket season despite the rise in Covid-19 cases. There was a Covid-19 outbreak in the Bengal Ranji squad, with several players testing positive.

Sourav Ganguly himself had to be hospitalized as a precautionary measure after being found infected by the virus. Even Cricket Association of Bengal president Avishek Dalmiya had to be admitted to a hospital “as a precaution” after contracting Covid.

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