Ex-selector Vengsarkar says backing Kohli's debut cost him his job

ANI | Updated: Mar 08, 2018 21:19 IST

New Delhi [India], Mar 8 (ANI): Former Indian captain and Chairman of the Indian Cricket Selection Committee Dilip Vengsarkar revealed that backing Virat Kohli in 2008 over Tamil Nadu batsman, S Badrinath, led to the end of his tenure as the chief selector.

Vengsarkar claimed that BCCI treasurer N Srinivasan was upset with his decision and took the matter to the then president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Sharad Pawar, and eventually had him sacked.

"I knew that Badrinath was from the South and he was from Chennai Super Kings. From N Srinivasan's team. He would have to miss out if Kohli had to be picked. And that happened. I picked Virat Kohli, and Badrinath went out," Vensarkar said.

Vengsarkar, 61, said that he also had to face resistance from then skipper MS Dhoni and coach Gary Kirsten, who had not seen much of Kohli.

"Me and my fellow selectors had decided to pick U-23 players for India A in the four-nation Emerging players trophy. Around the same time India had won the U-19 World Cup and Virat Kohli was the captain. I picked him in the tournament and went to Brisbane to watch him. He used to open the batting at the time. He scored 123 against New Zealand who had many more Test players in their side. I saw him bat and felt we should pick him for India. I felt he was ready," ESPNcricinfo quoted Vengsarkar as saying.

It was on Vengsarkar's insistence that both Dhoni and Kirsten selected the Delhi batsman for the 2008 Sri Lanka series.

Virat Kohli is today considered as one of the modern greats of International Cricket and has led India to several historic victories both as a player and now as a captain. (ANI)