Virat Kohli's absence from India’s Asia Cup squad has led to an issue of disagreement between BCCI and Asian Cricket Council after broadcasters Star Sports expressed their displeasure.
The BCCI, however, has made it clear in their reply to Asian Cricket Council (ACC) that neither them nor the broadcasters have any say in national team selection matters.
Considering the draining England tour, the BCCI had decided to rest Kohli from the 14th edition of Asia Cup. Virat was one of the very few Indian players who played all the matches on England tour. Moreover, the 29-year-old has been struggling with injuries lately. Before the England series, Kohli had missed his maiden county stint for Surrey due to a neck sprain. During the second Test at Lord’s, the India captain suffered a lower-back strain as well.
Replying to a mail sent by ACC official Thusith Perera, accessed by Hindustan Times, BCCI CEO Rahul Johri said: “Kindly note that the team selected by BCCI selection committee (an expert body comprising of former cricketers) to participate in the Asia Cup as announced on 1 September 2018 is the best available team.”
“Please also take note that selection of the best available team for participation in a tournament is the sole prerogative of the selection committee of BCCI. It is not open for Asian Cricket Council or its broadcaster to insist on selection of any particular player and/or to question the expert opinion of the selection committee as to which is the best available team for a particular tournament. Needless to add, this email is being issued without prejudice to BCCI’s rights and contentions in law, all of which are expressly reserved,” he added.
Earlier, the host broadcasters had sent a mail to Perera stating how Kohli's absence will impact the financial aspect of the coverage.
“We would like to bring to your notice that our media rights agreement dated June 29, 2017 (the “MRA”) with the Asian Cricket Council (the “ACC”) requires that the ACC ensures that the best available teams from each of the participating nations including India should form a part of the Asia Cup. Virat Kohli has been the most prolific run scorer in world cricket in the recent past. His presence in the Indian team and his aggressive captaincy has a dramatic impact on the outcome of each event,” the email stated.
“In our view, this announcement about the absence of one of the world’s best batsmen from this edition of the Asia Cup, only 15 days before the commencement of the Asia Cup, is a serious dent to us (the event broadcaster) and will severely impact our ability to monetize and generate revenues from the tournament,” Star Sports further wrote.
Rohit Sharma will lead India in the Asia Cup 2018. Team India begin their Asia Cup 2018 campaign against Hong Kong on September 18, a day before their much-anticipated clash with arch-rivals Pakistan.
India squad for Asia Cup 2018:
Rohit Sharma (C), Shikhar Dhawan (VC), KL Rahul, Ambati Rayudu, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni, Dinesh Karthik, Hardik Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Y Chahal, Axar Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Shardul Thakur, Khaleel Ahmed
(With inputs from Hindustan Times)