'This is rubbish': Cricket world stunned by Virat Kohli bombshell

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·Sports Editor
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Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, pictured here prior to a Twenty20 international against New Zealand.
Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma look on prior to a Twenty20 international against New Zealand. (Photo by Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images)

The BCCI has responded to reports Virat Kohli will step down as India's limited-overs captain after the upcoming T20 World Cup.

According to The Times of India, Kohli is planning to vacate his role as ODI and T20I captain to focus on his Test captaincy.

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The report claims Rohit Sharma will take over as limited-overs captain and that discussions between Kohli, Sharma and the Indian cricket board have been taking place.

“Virat himself will make the announcement," the report claims via an anonymous source.

"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.”

However BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal has since slammed the reports, saying: "This is just rubbish".

"Nothing as such is going to happen. This is all media creation," Dhumal told NDTV

"BCCI has not met or discussed anything on this issue."

Kohli has captained India in 95 ODIs and 45 T20I matches, winning won 65 and 29 respectively. 

However his batting has suffered a stunning decline in recent months and he has fallen from the World No.1 Test batsman to No.6.

His last international century came in November of 2019 and he averaged just 31.14 in the recent series against England.

The T20 World Cup, which begins in October, was scheduled to be held in India but the Covid-19 situation in the country forced organisers to shift it to the United Arab Emirates and Oman.

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Indian players refused to play fifth Test

Meanwhile, BCCI chief Sourav Ganguly has revealed India players refused to play the fifth and final Test against England due to Covid-19 concerns and denied that the upcoming Indian Premier League had played any part in the decision.

The Old Trafford Test was cancelled last Friday barely two hours before its scheduled start as the tourists, who were leading the series 2-1, failed to field a side after their physiotherapist tested positive for Covid-19.

"The players refused to play but you can't blame them," former captain Ganguly told Indian newspaper The Telegraph on Monday.

"Physio Yogesh Parmar was such a close contact of the players ... he mixed freely with the players and even performed their Covid-19 tests.

"He also used to give them a massage, he was part of their everyday lives.

Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli, pictured here in action for India.
The BCCI has dismissed reports Rohit Sharma will take over as India's limited-overs captain from Virat Kohli. (Photo by Surjeet Yadav/Getty Images)

"The players were devastated when they came to know that he had tested positive for Covid-19. They feared they must have contracted the disease and were dead scared."

Former England captain Michael Vaughan suggested that Indian players were "petrified" of testing positive ahead of the lucrative IPL, which resumes on September 19 in the United Arab Emirates.

However England and Wales Cricket Board CEO Tom Harrison said the cancellation had nothing to do with the IPL, and Ganguly echoed those comments.

"The BCCI will never be an irresponsible board. We value other boards too," Ganguly said, adding that the match is likely to be held as a one-off match next year.

However, ESPNcricinfo later reported Ganguly said the BCCI wanted the test to be considered the final one in the series.

"We want the series to be completed as this will be our first series win (in England) since 2007," Ganguly was quoted as saying in the report which cited a PTI interview.

"We are ready to play extra ODI and T20Is and that's not an issue. Just that the test match that will be played later will be the fifth match of the series."

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