"That guy has 70 hundreds; if this can happen with him, what example are you setting for the youngsters?" - Salman Butt slams BCCI for Virat Kohli ODI captaincy saga

Salman Butt reacts to Virat Kohli (R)'s ODI captaincy sacking.
Salman Butt reacts to Virat Kohli (R)'s ODI captaincy sacking.
Rudransh Khurana

Salman Butt has come down heavily at the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for the still-unfolding saga of Virat Kohli's sacking from the ODI leadership.

The former Pakistan captain, in a video on his YouTube channel, was reacting to reports of the board giving Virat Kohli a 48-hour ultimatum to step down himself.

Salman Butt said if these reports are true, then the BCCI is setting the wrong example for India's upcoming players. The 37-year-old defended Virat Kohli's recent dip in form, saying his attitude never changed.

Butt remarked that jettisoning a player with 70 centuries in this fashion is not the treatment that youngsters should see and said:

"How big is this an example for the upcoming guys? That guy has 70 hundreds. The rest of the team combined doesn't have 70 hundreds. At age 30 he was around that number... It's not like he has scored ducks, played the wrong way or lost matches for the team. It's not like his intent has gone down, nor average or strike rate has drastically fallen. He has played brilliantly in supporting acts, played crucial innings in Test matches."

Salman Butt added:

"But still if this can happen then what will others have to do to avoid a situation like this? What example are you setting for the youngsters? I think this is not the kind of treatment that you want as a player when you have done so much. Lesser players wouldn't want it. This is not the kind of treatment you would want youngsters to see. If this is happening with him then others haven't even started following in his footsteps yet."

Virat Kohli was dropped from the ODI captaincy on Wednesday, with the BCCI communicating Rohit Sharma's succession via a succinct social-media post. It was the perfect gist for the rumor mill, leading to contrasting reports from all corners.

The president of BCCI has changed the narrative completely by saying they wanted Virat Kohli to NOT step down from T20I captaincy.Not sure about others but I am not buying this theory ๐Ÿ˜ƒ#TeamIndia

On Thursday, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly, in an interview with ANI, said the board had asked Virat Kohli not to step down from the T20I captaincy in November. The former captain said the board had to ensure that the same player leads India in both white-ball formats, prompting their decision.

"If it indeed has happened then there's an element of disrespect" - Salman Butt on Virat Kohli's sacking

A leader who led the side with grit, passion & determination. ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ”Thank you Captain @imVkohli!๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘#TeamIndia

Salman Butt hopes the reports are false because if not, then "there's an element of disrespect". He asserted:

"I really hope that didn't happen. I believe it would have happened after discussions and getting to an understanding. Because if it indeed has happened then there's an element of disrespect. I know it is professional, it's being run like a business... These are the bitter realities of life. But he is not in that bad a form or is not performing that poorly. Yes, everyone feels that he couldn't win any ICC trophy which is fine, not a lot of captains did that. That is not the only basis."

Salman Butt said it's now time for Virat Kohli to focus more on his batting. He argued that his relationship with Rohit Sharma has always been good and harmonious, which shouldn't be impacted by all the clamor.

Salman Butt concluded by saying:

"Virat hasn't spoken anything as such yet which is good. In any circumstances, he should focus on his batting. And he knows better than us and others that his job is to win matches and score big. And his relationship with his white-ball successor Rohit Sharma - both have played the better part of their careers together, have won India a lot of matches. There seems a lot of harmony between them. I don't think that (issues between them) should be the case."

This matter could be expected to unravel further when Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma come together in their new roles during India's tour of South Africa, which begins on December 26.

Edited by Samya Majumdar
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