T20 captaincy row: Chetan Sharma backs Ganguly, says 'Kohli was asked to rethink'
Echoing the words of Indian cricket board (BCCI) president Sourav Ganguly, selection committee chairman Chetan Sharma on Friday said that Virat Kohli was asked to rethink over his decision to quit as the T20 captain.
Addressing the media, Sharma said, "All selectors and BCCI office bearers had asked Virat Kohli to think over it (leaving captaincy) because the World Cup was coming. We had asked him (Virat Kohli) to think about quitting after the World Cup."
"We want the Indian team to be at the top. It's not our job to create controversy. We feel sad to see controversies," Sharma, a former cricketer, said.
"We should end this matter here for the benefit of Indian cricket," the chairman added while announcing the Indian ODI squad against South Africa.
Responding to a question on whether Kohli, as he claimed, was informed about dropping him as One Day International (ODI) captain one-and-a-half hours before the Test team selection, Sharma said, "We had to achieve a consensus among selectors to inform him. I cannot make decisions alone."
"We all respect Virat Kohli," he added.
What is the captaincy issue?
Kohli had said his decision to quit T20 captaincy was accepted well by the board, contradicting Ganguly, who said he had requested the 33-year-old to not step down.
Kohli had said, "When I told the BCCI that I want to give up T20I captaincy, it was accepted really well. There was no hesitancy. I was told that it was a progressive step. I had informed at that time that I would like to lead in ODIs and Tests.
"The communication from my side was clear but I had also informed that if the office bearers and selectors don't think I should lead in other formats, then that is fine," the Test skipper said.
Ganguly, who faced backlash after his cricket board sacked Kohli as ODI captain, had said, "It's a call that the BCCI and the selectors took together. Actually, the BCCI had requested Virat to not step down as the T20I skipper but obviously, he did not agree. And the selectors then did not feel it right to have two different captains for two white-ball formats."
"So it was decided that Virat will continue as Test captain and Rohit will take over as the white-ball captain. I as President personally spoke to Virat Kohli and the chairman of selectors has also spoken to him," Ganguly told ANI.