A file photograph of Virat Kohli
Indian captain Virat Kohli’s absence from Asia Cup has got BCCI into a head on collision with Asian Cricket Council after broadcasters Star expressed their displeasure. The BCCI, however, in a tersely worded reply to Asian Cricket Council (ACC) has made it clear that neither them or broadcasters have any say in national team selection matters.
Kohli, inarguably the biggest draw in world cricket, was rested after an 84-day tour of England where he emerged as top run getter with 593 runs in five Tests.
In an email to ACC Game Development Manager Thusith Perera (in possession of PTI), the host broadcaster expressed their displeasure, stating how Kohli’s absence will impact the financial aspect of the coverage.
“In our view, the announcement of the absence of one of world’s best batsmen from the Asia Cup, only 15 days before the commencement of the Asia Cup, is a severe dent to us (event broadcaster) and will severely impact our ability to monetise and generate revenue for the tournament,” the email stated.
The broadcasters had asked ACC to get in touch with BCCI as they made it clear that since MRA (Media Rights Agreement) obligations required ACC to ensure best national teams are playing the Tournament.
However, BCCI made it clear that it’s solely parent body’s prerogative to choose their national team and no outside interference would be allowed.
“Please note that selection of best available team for participation in a tournament is sole prerogative of BCCI,” BCCI CEO Rahul Johri replied to Perera.
“It is not open for ACC or its broadcaster to insist on selection of any particular player and/or to question the expertise of any selection committee as to which is the best available team for particular tournament,” Johri further wrote.