Chetan Sharma, the national selection committee chairman, confirmed that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) office-bearers and the selectors had requested Virat Kohli not to quit as the captain before the T20 World Cup.
“When the meeting started, we were all in shock. The T20 World Cup was round the corner and then, this news came. So, all of us were obviously surprised. Everyone present in that meeting told Virat to rethink this decision and also told him that we can talk about it after the World Cup,” Sharma said on Friday.
“All the selectors felt that it would affect the team in the World Cup. It was told to Virat that for the sake of Indian cricket, please continue as the captain. Everyone in the meeting – including the convenors and Board officials – told him the same. If suddenly such a news comes, who would not be shocked!” Sharma added.
“We thought that we could talk about it post the World Cup. We never wanted it to affect the team’s chances. But he had his plans. We respect his decision. But at that time, everyone told him to think about his decision. The main aim for everybody is to see the Indian team on the top. We don’t want controversies.”
Before flying to South Africa, Kohli had said that he was never told not to quit T20 captaincy, contrary to the comments of BCCI chief Sourav Ganguly, who said that he had requested Kohli not to quit as a T20 captain before the T20 World Cup.
“Quitting T20 captaincy was Virat’s decision. No one told him to quit captaincy. Once he quit, the selectors thought that there should be one captain for white ball cricket. So, I had a long chat with him after the meeting and explained the plan to him,” Sharma said.