How Virat Kohli got Dilip Vengsarkar removed as chief selector? Check
New Delhi: Former team India skipper Dilip Vengsarkar had a tragic end to his tenure as the Chief Selector of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) selection committee, and surprisingly the reason was none other than Virat Kohli.
Shocked? But this is true! Dilip Vengsarkar was removed as BCCI Chief Selector in 2008 after a small tenure of two years and he was succeeded by his former teammate Kris Srikkanth.
As per the legendary batsman, his removal was conspired by the then BCCI treasurer N Srinivasan, who wanted Tamil Nadu lad Subramaniam Badrinath in the Indian squad instead of a teenaged Virat Kohli, who was the prime recommendation of Vengsarkar.
Virat Kohli had just led India Under-19 team to a glorious World Cup victory in 2008 and Vengsarkar had seen his talent during his Emerging Players tour to Australia. But Srinivasan was not ready to get Badrinaath out of the team as he was a Chennai Super Kings (CSK) player, Vengasarkar said.
He said, "When the selection committee met for team selection for the Test and ODI squads for the Sri Lanka tour, I was very much convinced that it was the perfect time for Virat Kohli to mark his debut. My opinion, however, did not go well with the then captain MS Dhoni and coach Gary Kirsten."
"Despite four of the selectors agreed over Kohli's selection, Gary Kirsten and MS Dhoni did not show any interest in him as they had not seen him playing much. I assured them that I have seen Kohli playing and we have to include him in the team," said Vengsarkar.
"I was well aware that they were interested in keeping Badrinath in the squad because he played for Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise CSK. Kohli could only be in the team if Badrinath was dropped. N Srinivasan was the BCCI treasurer at that time. He was extremely unhappy with Badrinath's ouster as he was their player," he further said.
Badrinath marked his international debut in the second ODI of the 2008 Sri Lanka trip and played three matches in which he scored 27*, 6 and 6 runs respectively. Kohli, on the other hand, also marked his debut in the first ODI and played all five matches. He ended the series with scores of 12, 37, 25, 54 and 31.
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"Srinivasan questioned me on what grounds Badrinath was removed. I explained that while being on the Emerging Players tour to Australia, I saw Virat Kohli playing and I am very sure that he is an exceptional player and that is why he is in the team," said Vengsarkar.
"He was very unpleased as he claimed that Badrinath has scored more than 800 runs for Tamil Nadu in domestic circuit. I told him that he will get his chance. He then asked, 'When? He is already 29 now'. I told him he will get his chance but I can't tell you when. The very next day, Srinivasan took Kris Srikkanth to Sharad Pawar, who was the then BCCI President and hence my chief selector tenure came to an end," he further claimed.
Dilip Vengsarkar is one of the finest batsmen Indian Cricket has ever seen. He appeared in 116 Tests aand 129 ODIs. He has 17 centuries and 35 half-centuries to his credit in Tests while 1 hundred and 23 half-tons in ODI Cricket.
He took over as the BCCI Chief Selector from Kiran More in 2006 and was replaced two years later by Srikkanth in 2008. Vengsarkar alleges that it was Srinivasan's influence which caused him losing his job.
Well, everyone can see what a great batsman like Vengsarkar has brought for Indian Cricket and what Srinivasan, who is also facing corruption charges, was trying to plant in the Indian side.
Today, Virat Kohli is not only the best batsman in Indian team but is widely regarded as the best batsman of the current era, while Subramaniam Badrinath could not find a place even in any IPL team.