IND vs SA: COA chief Vinod Rai backs under-fire Virat Kohli

Updated: 27 January, 2018 15:57 IST | PTI | Johannesburg

BCCI Committee of Administrators (COA) chief Vinod Rai today backed under-fire Virat Kohli, saying there is nothing wrong in giving the India skipper a free hand in selection matters

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli

BCCI Committee of Administrators (COA) chief Vinod Rai today backed under-fire Virat Kohli, saying there is nothing wrong in giving the India skipper a free hand in selection matters. Kohli was criticised for his bold selection decisions in the ongoing Test series against South Africa with former batsman Virender Sehwag saying there is no one in the dressing room to point out Kohli's mistakes.

However, Rai said there's nothing wrong in giving Kohli a "free hand". "He has motivated the players. He's very aggressive and systematic on the field. He's doing an excellent job," Rai told PTI. "A captain should be given a free hand in the matter (of team selection). You can't have a captain being controlled from outside. I think he's given a total free hand and he's been able to mould an excellent team."

The International Cricket Council (ICC) is pushing for an Olympic return of the sport, probably with the T20 version, in the 2024 edition. But the ICC's hopes hinge on India as without the BCCI approval, the cricket's international body can't dare to make the bid. Rai said: "It's still under consideration. We will see. It depends a lot on the cricket loving population of the country. What's the kind of cricket they want. It will take place slowly."

Rai also urged former greats like Sachin Tendulkar and Kapil Dev to get into cricket administration. "I think it's high time that cricketers come into administration too. The pain of playing was demonstrated this year and Sourav will agree," he said while speaking at a session on cricketers at the Tata Steel Kolkata Literary Meet. "The Lodha Committee has done a very good thing. They have said that one of the members in the BCCI has to be an ex-cricketer. I've been feeling for a long time that people like Sourav, Sachin and Kapil whom I've personally requested come into cricket in a big way.

"They are the people who have come up the hard way. They learnt at every level what it means to be playing cricket. Cricket administration must at least some sprinkling of former cricketers in it to make the game much better in terms of quality." On the upcoming IPL, he said they are trying their best to maintain the sanctity of the sport as there's an "emotional connect".

"The number of people who follow the sport passionately are Indians all over the place. We would very much like to ensure their interest and trust and the way forward for them is preserved for this country." He said they would like to nurture the team in a way that they deliver the 2019 World Cup. "The fact the best in the world today is nurtured cherished and provided for so that they can actually be able to deliver the World Cup for the country," he concluded.

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First Published: 27 January, 2018 11:00 IST

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