Virat Kohli on Thursday took to social media to announce that he will be stepping down as captain of the Indian cricket team in T20Is after the completion of the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup, which is scheduled to take place in UAE and Oman from October 17 to November 14. He will continue to lead the team in Test cricket and ODIs.
“I have decided to step down as the T20 captain after this T20 World Cup in Dubai in October,” Kohli wrote in a statement that he shared on his social media handles.
“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 3 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.
— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) September 16, 2021
“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 have 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 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 wrote in his statement.
Kohli took over as captain in the shortest format in 2017 after MS Dhoni stepped down from his position. This will be the first time that Kohli will lead India in the ICC T20 World Cup. He has led the team to the final of the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy and the semi-final of the 2019 ICC World Cup in the past.
Meanwhile, BCCI President Sourav Ganguly hailed Kohli and called him a “true asset” for Indian cricket. Thanking him, Ganguly said via an official statement, “Virat has been a true asset for Indian Cricket and has led with aplomb. He is one of the most successful captains in all the 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”, he further added.
Also, BCCI Honorary Secretary Jay Shah stated that the team is ready to transition after Kohli steps down as captain. “We have a clear roadmap for Team India. Considering the workloads and ensuring that we have smooth transition, Mr Virat Kohli has decided to step down as T20I Captain after the upcoming World Cup”, he said.
“I have been in discussions with Virat and the leadership team 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.”