In a sting operation carried out by Zee Media, the chairman of the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) national men’s senior selection committee, Chetan Sharma made jarring revelations about the rift between the former Indian skipper, Virat Kohli, and the former board president, Sourav Ganguly.
Kohli, who was the all-format captain of the national team when Ganguly assumed power as the president, relinquished T20I captaincy following the 2021 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup. Just a month after the competition, however, BCCI announced a new ODI captain in Rohit Sharma.
According to Sharma, there was a ‘clash of egos’ between Kohli and Ganguly, with the former ‘feeling’ he had lost captaincy due to Ganguly’s interference.
‘Kohli Wanted To Take Revenge,’ Claims Chetan Sharma
Following Kohli's announcement of stepping down as the T20I skipper, Ganguly claimed that he had asked to reconsider his decision, albeit the player himself denied it in a press conference.
Addressing the issue, Sharma stated that Ganguly did ask Kohli to think about his decision, and that the latter was trying to 'defame' the then president. Although, the selection committee chairman further mentioned that the conference was attended by nine members, and Kohli might not have heard Ganguly.
A Timeline of The Kohli-Ganguly Saga:
Virat Kohli was the all-format captain of Indian men's team when Sourav Ganguly became the BCCI president in October 2019.
In September 2021, Kohli announced that he will step down as the T20I skipper after the 2021 ICC Men's T20 World Cup.
Ganguly claimed he had 'personally requested' Kohli not to give up T20I captaincy.
Kohli, however, contradicted the statement, by saying "I wasn’t told that I should not leave T20I captaincy, but it was received positively."
In December of the same year, BCCI appointed Rohit Sharma as the ODI captain.
A month later, Kohli decided to relinquish Test captaincy, with Rohit Sharma becoming India's new all-format leader.
“This is a huge thing. There is a clash of two egos. There's one (Virat Kohli) who thinks that Ganguly has removed him from captaincy, so I will take my revenge. Virat gave statements in the media trying to defame Ganguly, but it backfired," he mentioned.
Moreover, Sharma further mentioned that whilst Ganguly did not ‘favour’ the current skipper, Rohit Sharma very evidently, he might have had a ‘dislike’ towards Kohli.
Further clarifying the dispute, Sharma was heard saying “It was a battle of egos. Sourav Ganguly was also the captain of India. He was regarded as the most trustworthy captain and he is still remembered as the most successful captain. Virat naturally thinks that he is the most successful captain. So, it was one person's word over another, that naturally created some friction between the two.”
Players Take ‘Injections’ Before Games: Chetan Sharma
Barring the Ganguly-Kohli rift, the selection committee chairman further stated that players often take ‘injections’ ahead of matches to hide injuries, and subsequently, clear fitness requirements.
“They just take injections on their own and they say they are fine. They are superstars. They have their own doctors, they'll call them, the doctor will come to their house and give them the injection,” opined the 57-year-old.
Mentioning the alleged influence of a player’s fanbase on social media platforms, Sharma further spoke about Sanju Samson’s selection in the team, saying that people on Twitter would ‘blow the selectors off’ if the Kerala-born player is not included in the side.