Ganguly surprised by Kohli quitting T20I captaincy; says Dhoni’s appointment as mentor not an ‘overnight’ decision

Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni will reunite during the T20 World Cup | Getty Images

BCCI President Sourav Ganguly on Friday (October 22) opened up on two major talking points in recent times in Indian cricket with Virat Kohli announcing his decision to step down as T20I captain after the T20 World Cup 2021, and appointment of former captain MS Dhoni as mentor for the same tournament.

Speaking during the Salaam Cricket 2021, Ganguly revealed he was surprised when Virat Kohli decided to end his tenure as captain in T20Is and confirmed that the board never asked him to quit.

He said, “I was surprised (that Virat Kohli decided to step down as T20 captain). This decision must have been taken only after the England tour and it is his decision. There was no pressure from our end, we didn’t tell him anything,” Ganguly told India Today.

“We don’t do things like that because I myself have been a player so I understand. It is very difficult to be a captain in all formats for this long.

“I was a captain for six years, it looks good from the outside, there is respect and all that. But you get burnt out on the inside and it happens to any captain. Not just to Tendulkar or Ganguly or Dhoni or Kohli but to the captain that will come up next as well. It is a tough job.” he added.

Ganguly then spoke about the decision to bring MS Dhoni on board as mentor for the T20 World Cup, a thought he said was on his mind along with BCCI secretary Jay Shah since quite sometime and not an overnight decision.

“Jay (Shah) and I were discussing for a long time about how to involve Dhoni. He has won 2 World Cups after all and has not left cricket completely. Hopefully, he will be a good addition. It can’t possibly be bad. Let’s see,”

On the possibility of there being ego clashes between Dhoni, head coach Ravi Shastri and captain Virat Kohli, the former Indian captain dismissed the possibility.

“Ravi Shastri is the head coach, Virat is the captain and MS will just help them. MS is a mature person, he will know what to say when. I am sure all this was discussed and so hope for the best. He is just for this trip..They are all such big players, I just don’t see any issues.”