Rohit to captain India at T20 World Cup, Dravid stays as coach: Jay Shah

Rohit Sharma with Jay Shah
Rohit Sharma with Jay Shah (Source: Debasis Sen)

Rohit Sharma will captain India at the T20 World Cup in the United States and the Caribbean later this year, BCCI secretary Jay Shah has confirmed. He has also spoken about Virat Kohli, saying that the former India captain has every right to take a leave of absence. And Shah has reiterated that contracted players will have to play the Ranji Trophy if they aren’t with the Indian team or doing their rehab at the National Cricket Academy.

“Rohit has returned to the T20I fold after a gap of one year,” Shah told reporters, on the sidelines of the renaming ceremony of the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium on Wednesday. “He led the team against Afghanistan, which means that going ahead, he will lead the team. This has been decided by the selectors, Rohit is India’s all-format captain.”

The stadium has been renamed after Niranjan Shan, the veteran cricket administrator and former BCCI secretary. And the current secretary was in the mood to take questions on various issues related to Indian cricket. He is going to write a formal letter to everyone concerned that playing red-ball domestic cricket has been made mandatory.

“I have already informed everyone over the phone and will write a letter tomorrow; if the chairman of the selection committee, your captain and your coach ask you to play red-ball domestic cricket, you have to play it,” said Shah. “We will not take any excuse from the young players who are fit, who can take the rigours of multi-day cricket.”

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Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma (Source: X)

Asked if the directive is particularly aimed at Ishan Kishan, who returned from South Africa for reasons not related to cricket and has gone AWOL since, he said: “I won’t single out anyone. This is a message to everybody. Everybody has to play. Else, the chairman of selectors has the freehand to take a call.” Shah cited Sarfaraz Khan’s example, who has been included in the Indian team by dint of his performances in domestic cricket.

Meanwhile, when RevSportz contacted a Jharkhand Cricket Association top official, asking him about an update on Kishan, with the next round of the Ranji Trophy commencing from Friday, he failed to provide any.

As regards to Kohli opting out of the ongoing Test series against England, citing personal reasons, Shah said: “This is not an issue at all. If someone has asked for a leave of absence after playing 15 years of international cricket, then he has the right to do it. Virat is not someone who will ask for a leave without reasons. We must back our players.”

The 2025 ICC Champions Trophy is slated to be played in Pakistan. Given the strained relationship between the two countries, will India go and play there? “Our position depends on what the government will decide,” said Shah. “Who knows what the situation will be after a year?”
He confirmed that Rahul Dravid would coach the Indian team at the T20 World Cup.

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