“Ab jeet liye?” - Salman Butt takes a dig at BCCI over Virat Kohli’s sacking as captain for “no valid reason”

Virat Kohli, Salman Butt
Virat Kohli (left) and Salman Butt. Pics: Getty Images & YouTube

Former Pakistan batter Salman Butt has taken a veiled dig at BCCI’s decision to sack Virat Kohli as ODI captain last year over his inability to win an ICC trophy. According to Butt, Kohli was doing a good job as a leader and there was no valid reason to remove him from the post.

Kohli quit the T20I captaincy last year after India’s T20 World Cup campaign in the UAE. Subsequently, he was removed as ODI captain because the BCCI was keen on having one leader for both white-ball formats. Kohli’s stint as a leader came to a complete end when he quit as Test captain after the series loss in South Africa.

Reflecting on the current state of Indian cricket, with calls growing for all-rounder Hardik Pandya to replace Rohit Sharma as T20I captain, Butt went back to the decision to remove Kohli as a leader in an unceremonious manner. Terming it a needless move, he said on his YouTube channel:

“I have always maintained, even when Kohli was sacked - what was the reason behind doing so? There was no valid reason. He was being criticized for not winning an ICC trophy. How many captains have won an ICC trophy? So many have ended their careers without one. Ab jeet liye? (You have won now?)”
Team India‘s bowling was not at par in the T20 World Cup 2022 🏏#crickettwitter #t20worldcup #india

Butt’s comments come in the wake of Rohit Sharma-led Team India’s exit from the T20 World Cup 2022 semi-final against England in Adelaide. India topped the Super 12 stage in Group 2 but succumbed to a 10-wicket loss to the Englishmen in the knockouts.

“He was a quality captain” - Salman Butt on Virat Kohli

Praising Kohli, the leader, Butt described him as a quality captain. He also opined that not a lot has changed in Indian cricket following his removal as ODI skipper. The former Pakistan captain commented:

“He was a quality captain. It was not like they were not able to win trophies only because of him. Now, he is not captain. It is not that a lot has changed. Either they have moved slightly forward or maybe even gone a little behind. If it was all about a winning captain, it wasn’t like (MS) Dhoni couldn’t play T20s. He still looks fit.”

Kohli was the leading run-getter in the T20 World Cup in Australia. In six matches, he smashed 296 runs at an average of 98.67 and a strike rate of 136.41.

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Edited by Renin Wilben Albert
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