TWO OF the biggest names in Indian cricket – Sourav Ganguly and Virat Kohli – have not been on the best of terms is clear from the developments in the last couple of months. India Ahead has learnt that Ganguly, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President, even wanted to issue a show cause notice to the then Test captain Kohli before the series against South Africa began in December 2021.
The notice was to be issued for Kohli’s emotional outburst against the establishment after he was removed as captain of the One Day International (ODI) team during a press conference before the team’s departure for South Africa in December 2021.
After losing the South Africa series, Kohli decided to quit as Test captain, and before announcing it, he even called the BCCI secretary Jay Shah. But Kohli didn’t bother to call Ganguly, team sources told India Ahead on Thursday.
It is understood that a convinced Ganguly, in what could have been an unprecedented move in the history of Indian cricket, had prepared a draft letter and also discussed the matter with the BCCI members. However, the board didn’t find it appropriate to issue a notice to the Test captain days before the series in the Rainbow nation.
“And the board president was all for issuing a show cause notice to Kohli,” a source said. Eventually, the board didn’t issue the show cause notice to Kohli but one thing was certain at that stage, Kohli didn’t do anything good to his cause as a Test captain by speaking so boldly which has now snowballed into an unsavory episode.
Kohli during the press conference in December 2021 also revealed that no one from the BCCI spoke to him after he decided to quit the T20 captaincy when in reality Ganguly had told him to hang in there till the T20 World Cup.
The way Kohli spoke to the media days after his sacking as ODI captain also didn’t go down well with the BCCI. It eventually showed both BCCI and Ganguly in poor light as if the board took all team related decisions without taking Kohli into confidence.
Sources said that along with Ganguly, BCCI secretary Jay Shah too had asked Kohli not to give up the T20 captaincy. Kohli, however, didn’t bother to take the suggestions from senior BCCI functionaries seriously.
Responding to Kohli’s claim that no one got in touch with him after he left T20 captaincy on his own, Ganguly had said the board is looking into it.
It is believed that Kohl’s press conference almost misconstrued the whole episode. Kohli is also the reason why Ganguly’s top choice as a member of the Cricket Advisory Committee Anil Kumble couldn’t stay for more than a year as the Indian cricket team head coach.
That Kumble episode left such a bad taste that a few of the stalwarts were left debating whether it is right or wrong to clip Kohli’s wings as a leader.
Eventually, India playing a series in South Africa could save Kohli from getting a show cause notice for challenging the hierarchy. “Now that Kohli’s time is over and he perhaps didn’t see this coming, which Ravi Shastri did,” another source added.
Perhaps, the board should have asked him to stop captaining the team after he decided to quit as the T20I team leader.