Putting a whole lot of two and twos together, sections of the media reported this week about Indian cricketers calling BCCI secretary Jay Shah to complain about Virat Kohli and his captaincy, and the BCCI decided to step in.
The BCCI, once again for the record, had no role to play in Kohli resigning as captain of the T20 team. It was the cricketer’s own decision.
When he resigned as T20 captain on September 16, media reports said Kohli had gone to the selectors and asked that Rohit be removed as vice-captain of the team. On September 28, there were reports that two senior India cricketers Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane complained to Shah about Kohli.
“The media must stop writing this rubbish. Let me say this on the record that no Indian cricketer has made any complaint to the BCCI – written or verbal. The BCCI can’t keep answering every false report that keeps appearing. The other day, we saw some reports saying there will be changes in India’s World Cup squad. Who said that?” BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal told TOI on Wednesday.
On September 13, when TOI reported that Kohli would step down as India’s white-ball captain, Dhumal had denied the same to the media and said: “BCCI had not discussed the matter of split-captaincy”.
Dhumal was right because it wasn’t the BCCI that was discussing the removal of Kohli as white-ball captain. Here’s what the TOI report said verbatim: “Virat himself will make the announcement. He is of the view that he needs to concentrate on his batting and go back to becoming what he’s always been – the best batsman in the world. The decision to quit (white-ball) captaincy is his alone”.
The said report is in line with the statement that Kohli released on social media platforms dated September 16 at 5.53 pm.
Dhumal’s statement to the media then was also absolutely in line with the said report because, as the treasurer maintained, it wasn’t BCCI’s but Kohli’s decision to step down. “The media asked me if the BCCI had taken a decision and I said no because that was true – the BCCI had not taken any decision or even discussed it. Eventually, Virat took his own decision and conveyed it to the BCCI and that was his call. Today, the same media is saying players complained to the BCCI. So, on behalf of the board I can tell you, there have been no complaints. Is there any confusion?” Dhumal said.
There shouldn’t be because even the office of the BCCI secretary is not aware of any such complaint. Those in the know, rather sarcastically, say: “Are you sure, it was the BCCI secretary the players complained to?”
The BCCI says it finds it extremely intriguing that hours after Kohli resigned as T20 captain, a section of the media seems to know almost everything about the Indian team. But 24 hours before he resigned, nobody had a clue that there were complaints against him.
TOI reported on Kohli wanting to quit white-ball captaincy and later spoke with several individuals who hold positions of responsibility in Indian cricket. Every single of those individuals has denied that players have filed any complaint whatsoever, not just with the secretary’s office but any other office within the Board.
“This kind of reporting harms Indian cricket more than anything else. We can understand if senior journalists – who have followed the game for a very long time and tracked it so devotedly – believe the Indian team should do this or do that. That’s an opinion and we respect that. It’s an observation and that’s their job. I myself enjoy reading good reports. But to concoct tales and say this person said this or that person said, without substantiating it, is not done,” Dhumal added.