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Et tu, Ganguly?

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The much-anticipated Virat Kohli press conference ahead of the South Africa series was a hot topic throughout the nation as ambiguities over the captaincy issues were cleared up. The moment I read it, my mind immediately took me to William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, where Caesar was assassinated by the senators and accepted his defeat when his friend Brutus stabbed him. The last words by Caesar that ended his era, “Et Tu, Brutus?”, is relatable to the controversy between the BCCI and Virat Kohli. Ever since Virat Kohli announced his stepping down as the T20I captain after the T20 World Cup, it was writ large that he would not be able to hold his position as the ODI Captain.

Virat Kohli has caught the media and global attention on several occasions, not just for his outstanding performances and achievements but also for his combative and heightened demeanour. But it did not relate to his attitude or temper that landed him in controversy this time. He was the innocent victim who had to endure the consequences of his contribution to Indian cricket.

“Sometimes the words don’t hurt as much as the person who speaks and how he speaks does” The removal of Kohli as the ODI captain was a no-shocker; it was the way the BCCI released the statement is that hurts the most. It was released, along with the test squad announcement for the South Africa series, right in the bottom corner of the release. It was simply like those obscure lines at the lowermost corner of a bank paper, which contains the utmost information but scribbled on the document.

Although Saurav Ganguly is now the president of the BCCI, he must remember that he was once a cricketer and the captain of the side as well. He is expected to take a stand for cricket rather than politics in cricket, having been through similar situations. Losing captaincy isn’t an issue but, the contradicting statements from each party and the disrespectful behaviour by the BCCI towards the Indian cricketers made Indian cricket a circus that all the cricket boards are enjoying across the world. Immediately after the conference, the tweets with #shameonBCCI and #removeshahandganguly were all over the nation. No wonder Virat felt like Caesar when he read all of Ganguly’s statements because while Virat was busy taking a stand for his teammates at the T20 World cup all while dealing with the consequences in the form of abuse directed at his family, the board was busy scripting a drama in which Ganguly had to make the ultimate sacrifice and let Kohli be removed from captaincy despite the fact that “he asked Kohli not to do so.”

In India, everyone with a position becomes a politician. The BCCI is the only body in the world that is operating independently from the other sports. When cricket has been separated from the umbrella body it is expected that it is also free from dirty politics but alas in our country everything is politics and politics is everything.

Now with the damage already done and the BCCI’s decision to remain tight-lipped and solve the matter internally, it is the right time that instead of playing the “double-standards game” they come out clear and clean once and for all and set up a democratic policy with zero politics and politicians governing the board and work towards improving the standards of Indian cricket rather than making it a circus. As far as the Ganguly and Kohli drama is concerned, well we do need an Antony to speak to thy countryman cause Ganguly is an honourable man, too honourable to speak, and Kohli, well he is preparing to clear another controversy.

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