Rohit to continue as captain in T20 World Cup

Speaking to media at an event in Rajkot, Shah backed the duo’s leadership skills while expressing confidence in the Indian team to lift the T20 World Cup, to be jointly staged by the West Indies and the US.

Rohit to continue as captain in T20 World Cup

Indian cricket team captain Rohit Sharma

As India prepares for yet another attempt to end the decade-long title drought at a major ICC tournament, BCCI secretary Jay Shah has confirmed that the combination of captain Rohit Sharma and head coach Rahul David will continue to spearhead the side at the forthcoming 2024 men’s T20 World Cup.

Speaking to media at an event in Rajkot, Shah backed the duo’s leadership skills while expressing confidence in the Indian team to lift the T20 World Cup, to be jointly staged by the West Indies and the US.

“The fact that he (Rohit) was returning after a year to lead in the Afghanistan series recently meant he was obviously going to (lead in the T20 World Cup),” Shah said at an event to rename the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Rajkot the Niranjan Shah Cricket Stadium.


This will be the second time Rohit leads India at a T20 World Cup, having done it in 2022 as well. In that tournament, played in Australia, India lost the semifinal to eventual champions England. Rohit did not feature in T20Is after that, not playing a single T20I in 2023 but was recalled to lead the side in last month’s three-game series against Afghanistan, in which the Mumbai right-hander slammed 121 not out in the final game, after a series of ducks in the first two matches.

Under Rohit, India lost last year’s ODI World Cup final at home, after a spectacular run throughout the tournament in which India went on to notch 10 consecutive victories.

Shah said that while Rohit will lead India at the World Cup, Hardik Pandya, who had led India in the shortest format in several series in 2023, remains the primary long-term option.

“In T20s, Hardik will be the captain for certain (in the future). Rohit has the ability, we know. As he showed in the ODI World Cup where we won 10 matches in a row until the final. I am confident that India will lift the 2024 T20 World Cup under Rohit Sharma’s captaincy in Barbados,” he said.

Shah also confirmed that head coach Rahul Dravid will continue till the T20 World Cup. David’s contract had ended after the ODI World Cup final last year, but he was asked to continue in his role along with other support staff for the December-January tour to South Africa without finalising the tenure.

“After the (2023 ODI) World Cup, Rahul bhai had to leave for the South Africa tour immediately. We did not get to meet in between which finally happened today,” Shah said. “Why are you worried about a contract for such a senior person like Rahul Dravid? Rahul bhai will remain the coach in the T20 World Cup.”

The BCCI secretary further said that the board will hold a few more rounds of discussions with Dravid once he is free from the England series.

BCCI to speak to Kohli on T20 WC participation

Shah said that the board will speak to Virat Kohli before taking a call on his participation in the World Cup. Kohli, who was recalled to the T20I side along with Rohit ahead of the Afghanistan series, ending the duo’s 14-month absence from the shortest format, missed the first game due to personal reasons and came back to play the remaining two matches.

Since then, Kohli has not played, having opted out of the England Test series too for personal reasons.

“We will talk about him (soon). If a person, for the first time in a 15-year career, asks for personal leave, it’s his right. Virat is not a player who will ask for leave for no reason. We need to trust our player and back him,” Shah said.

India’s plans for Champions Trophy in Pakistan?

Responding to a query on whether the Indian team will travel to Pakistan next year to play the 2025 Champions Trophy, Shah said that was not for the BCCI to decide but for the government of India.

“India’s position (on travelling to Pakistan) would be based on what the government decides,” he said.

While Pakistan travelled to India for the 2023 World Cup, India had decided against travelling to the country that was tasked to host the Asia Cup in August-September last year. And eventually, the Asia Cup was played in a hybrid format, with India playing all their games in Sri Lanka.

Mandatory for contracted players to play domestic cricket

Coming hard at players skipping domestic cricket, Shah said that it is mandatory for centrally contracted players, and those in the wider India pool as shortlisted by the national selectors, to play domestic cricket tournaments as directed.

Responding to a query on Jharkhand wicketkeeper-batter Isha Kishan’s long absence from action, Shah said while he would not draw attention to Kishan specifically, he would be sending out a directive soon that all fit centrally contracted players need to make themselves available for selection in domestic cricket.

“I am going to write a letter tomorrow that if the chairman of selectors, coach or captain tell you that you have to play red-ball cricket, then you have to play. We will follow the NCA (National Cricket Academy) medical staff advice on player fitness. If you are fit then no excuse (for not playing) will be entertained,” Shah said.

“This applies to all centrally contracted players, they have to play. The player cannot decide his future, the selectors need to decide that. If the player is good at red-ball, he has to play,” he added.