“They’ll probably lose huge financial sponsorship” – Monty Panesar on prospect of BCCI dropping Virat Kohli from Indian team

Former England spinner Monty Panesar has opened up on Virat Kohli‘s dip in form and weighed in on whether he needs time to rediscover his form. Panesar opined that the BCCI could not drop Kohli even if they wanted to, keeping in mind the financial aspect.

Kohli has come under intense pressure of late, failing to score a hundred in almost three years. Moreover, the former Indian captain hasn’t played an impactful knock in India’s crucial games either in global tournaments. However, the management has continued to back him.

Speaking to the Times of India, Panesar admitted that Kohli has a massive fan following globally as fans love to watch him. Hence, the 40-year old feels the BCCI cannot afford to drop him as the right-handed batter brings in the money.

He said:

“It’s like Cristiano Ronaldo. Whenever Ronaldo plays for Manchester United, everyone’s watching the football. Virat Kohli is the same. He has got a huge following and attraction.

“Are BCCI under pressure too, regardless of whatever the result and role Virat Kohli has to play, to keep the sponsors happy? That’s probably the biggest question. They can’t drop him or afford to drop him because they’ll probably lose huge financial sponsorship.”

Kohli, once a top Test batter, dropped out of Top 10 in the rankings for the first time in six years as he slipped to 13th spot. The veteran failed to make a half-century in the rescheduled fifth Test against England in Edgbaston, making 11 and 20 in the first and second innings, respectively.

“The difficulty here is that he is the most marketable cricketer in the world” – Monty Panesar on Virat Kohli

Monty Panesar. (Image Credits: Getty)
Monty Panesar. (Image Credits: Getty)

Panesar further claimed that since the Indian batter has an enormous fan following and brings in the money, the BCCI might have to make tough decisions. He thinks the BCCI has to think about the good of the team.

He added:

“The difficulty here is that he is the most marketable cricketer in the world. Fans love him a lot. We all just love Virat and his intensity. Sometimes, it’s borderline but he’s very much admired in England. So, from the BCCI’s perspective, they’ve got to sit down and decide.

“From a financial perspective, other boards gained so much from Virat Kohli. But is Virat really good for the India side right now? But then would it mean at the expense of them not winning a T20 World Cup or a 50-over World Cup? That’s the biggest question at the moment.”

The 33-year old hasn’t made a half-century in the ongoing England tour so far. However, he is likely to be included for the T20 World Cup squad later this year.

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