Virat Kohli to step down as T20 captain after World Cup
New Delhi, September 16, 2021
Virat Kohli on Thursday announced his decision to relinquish T20I captaincy after the World Cup in Oman and the UAE in October but made it clear that he will continue to be India's Test and ODI captain.
There was speculation in the media that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was contemplating appointing a new captain for the shorter version of the game after the World Cup but, interestingly, some of the top officials of the board had rubbished these reports.
Apparently, Kohli who has led Team India in all three formats, has taken this decision to manage his workload. His decision also comes after the BCCI decided to appoint former skipper M S Dhoni as the team's mentor for the T20 World Cup. Under Kohli, India has yet to win an ICC trophy.
Kohli made his T20I captaincy debut in the series against England in 2017. In 45 T20Is, he led his side to 27 wins and 14 losses with two matches tied and two matches yielding no result.
He is India's second most successful skipper in the format after Dhoni. Under Kohli, India scored T20I bilateral series wins in South Africa (2-1) and England (2-1) in 2018 followed by New Zealand (5-0) and Australia (2-1) in 2020.
In a statement released from Dubai, Kohli said, "I have been fortunate enough to not only represent India but also lead the Indian Cricket Team to my utmost capability. I thank everyone who has supported me in my journey as the Captain of the Indian Cricket Team. I couldn't have done it without them -- the boys, the support staff, the selection committee, my coaches, and each and every Indian who prayed for us to win."
"Understanding workload is a very important thing and considering my immense workload over the last 8-9 years playing all three formats and captaining regularly for last 5-6 years, I feel I need to give myself space to be fully ready to lead the Indian Team in Test and ODI Cricket. I have given everything to the Team during my time as T20 Captain and I will continue to do so for the T20 Team as a batsman moving forward."
"Of course, arriving at this decision took a lot of time. After a lot of contemplation and discussions with my close people, Ravi Bhai and also Rohit, who has been an essential part of the leadership group, I've decided to step down as the T20 Captain after this T20 World Cup in Dubai in October. I have also spoken to the secretary Mr Jay Shah and the President of BCCI Mr. Sourav Ganguly along with all the selectors about the same. I will continue to serve Indian Cricket and the Indian Team to the best of my ability," Kohli added.
Reacting to Virat Kohli's decision, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly said the decision was made keeping "the future roadmap" in mind.
"Virat has been a true asset for Indian Cricket and has led with aplomb," he said.
"He is one of the most successful captains in all formats. The decision has been made keeping in mind the future roadmap. We thank Virat for his tremendous performance as the T20I Captain. We wish him all the best for the upcoming World Cup and beyond and hope that he continues to score plenty of runs for India,"Ganguly said in a BCCI media release.
BCCI secretary Jay Shah said he had been in talks with Kohli "for the last six months" over his workload.
"I have been in discussions with Virat and the leadership group for the last six months and the decision has been thought through. Virat will continue to contribute as a player and as a senior member of the side in shaping the future course of Indian cricket."