Asia Cup 2018: Broadcaster unimpressed with selectors resting Virat Kohli

Kohli had previously led the Indian side to England for the extensive month-long tour, following which the BCCI chose to rest him for the Asia Cup.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Virat Kohli is so impactful a player that even his absence in a tournament can rake up the biggest of storms. Reportedly, the regular Indian skipper being absent in the ongoing Asia Cup in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has stirred a war of words between the broadcaster and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). The Men in Blue will be taking on Hong Kong in their first game of the tournament on September 18.

Kohli had previously led the Indian side to England for the extensive month-long tour, following which the BCCI chose to rest him for the Asia Cup. Instead, Rohit Sharma will be leading the side in the tournament. India will be looking to re-consolidate themselves after the severe 1-4 drubbing they received at the hands of England in the Test series.


Fiery emails exchanged between BCCI and Star

As reported by Hindustan Times, replying to a mail sent by ACC official Thusith Perera, the 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 the 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,” Johri further wrote.

Prior to this, the broadcaster for the Asia Cup, Star had fired a letter to ACC official, Perera saying, “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.”

Further elucidating on their grievance, Star wrote, “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.”

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