This story was first picked up by Mumbai Mirror on 17th September. It stated that there was more to the absence of Virat Kohli from the Asia Cup squad than meets the eye. The matter proceeded thus; Sunil Manohar wrote on behalf of broadcaster Star to Asian Cricket Council (ACC) and Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) asking BCCI to follow the Media Rights Agreement (MRA).
BCCI contended by saying that the best squad was picked and no one had the right to influence the selection procedure.
Manohar had written in the letter that the ACC was under some obligation owing to the MRA. The fact that the best possible Indian team would not be going for the Asian Cup would have serious ramifications on the business of the broadcaster.
Star stated that the absence of one of the world’s best batsmen from the Asia Cup being announced only 15 days before the tournament will affect their ability to generate income from the tournament.
The Star representative stated that as per the MRA dated 29th June 2017, the ACC is required to ensure that the best available teams from the participating nations including India play in the Asia Cup. They further stated that it was revealed from BCCI’s media advisory as well as statements by senior selectors like MSK Prasad that Virat was rested despite being ‘available’.
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Star simply declared that Virat has been one of the best players in the recent past and that his presence or absence as a captain and a player can drastically influence the outcome of a game. BCCI CEO Rahul Johri assured that though Kohli would remain absent, the best available team was picked. He cleared that the decision about the squad is the sole prerogative of the BCCI Selection Committee.
This response came soon after ACC declared that it wanted to discuss the resting of Kohli. ACC declared that since BCCI assured that the best available team had been selected, ACC was being compliant with the MRA and the issue was solved.