The sacking of Virat Kohli as India’s ODI captain stunned the entire cricket fraternity. His press conference revealed that he was not kept in the loop by BCCI and was directly informed that he would no longer be the leader of national side in white-ball cricket going forward.
And while the young fans were left absolutely surprised with the sequence of events that unfolded, the veterans could just see a repeat of what they have seen many times in past in Indian cricket. Over the years, captains like Kapil Dev, Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly have been sacked as Indian captains in a very similar way with one thing in common – lack of communication from BCCI.
Here is how three legendary players were stripped off India’s captaincy duties:
The whole of India remembers about country’s historic victory in 1983 World Cup. However, it is not known to everyone that just a year after that win, Kapil Dev was sacked as the captain of national side without any prior communication. As per reports, the selectors were unhappy with his performances which is why they decided to replace him with experienced Sunil Gavaskar. Reflecting on the whole saga, Kapil Dev talked about it years later in 2019 and admitted that BCCI used to toy around team’s key position.
Sachin Tendulkar’s first stint as India’s captain came to a rather abrupt end in a very short time. After being given the responsibility in August 1996, he was replaced by Mohammed Azharuddin at the helm in December 1997. In his autobiography ‘Playing It My Way’, the Master Blaster admitted that he felt humiliated and embarrassed on his “unceremonious” removal as captain of the team. “No one from the BCCI managed to call me or inform me of my removal as captain before someone from the media called to say I was no longer captain,” he wrote in his autobiography.
The now BCCI President also suffered a similar fate during his playing days when he was removed as India’s captain after his well-known differences with coach Greg Chappell. However, Dada is of the opinion that many other people were also involved in his axing. “The others are not innocent either. A foreign coach who doesn’t have any say in the selection cannot drop an Indian captain. I had understood that this is not possible without the support of the entire system. Everyone was involved in the scheme to drop me,” Ganguly said in 2020.
As per the trend, it is very common in Indian cricket that things do get ugly when BCCI removes captains from their positions without prior communication which looks like an old practice of the board. Fans would just hope that they learn from their mistakes and try to deal with these situations in a much more better and professional way in times to come.