Journalist Rajdeep Sardesai’s latest book Democracy XI seems to be causing a few ripples with the revelations about Indian cricket. At first, MS Dhoni being saved by N Srinivasan from getting sacked in 2012 made headlines. Dhoni fans might have thanked Srinivasan for shielding Dhoni but Virat Kohli fans might think quite opposite of that. In one of the revelations from Democracy XI, Srinivasan was not happy with current skipper Kohli’s selection over Tamil Nadu player Subramaniam Badrinath.
Though it seems to be a joke after almost a decade but Srinivasan did try to pull a few strings when BCCI selector and former Indian cricketer Dilip Vengsarkar. Srinivasan was the treasurer of BCCI and Tamil Nadu cricket head at that time. He was furious at Vengsarkar’s decision to pick Kohli over Badrinath in 2008.
Vengsarkar was keen on selecting Kohli after he led India to title win in Under-19 World Cup, Malaysia. Srinivasan’s impact was such that Vengsarkar was removed as the selector the very next day. He is quoted in the book saying, “When N. Srinivasan, then board treasurer and controller of Tamil Nadu cricket, found out I had dropped Badrinath for Virat, he was livid and went and complained to the board president Sharad Pawar. The next day I was removed as chairman of selectors but fortunately they couldn’t change my decision to pick Virat,”.
Kohli was considered as the ‘bad boy’ of cricket for his aggressive nature at the start of his career. Though it did not affect his form as he was scoring well in the domestic cricket.
“We were being fed stories of how Virat was binge-drinking in the 2009 IPL in South Africa and was more interested in his hairstyle and tattoos than his cricket,” a selector was quoted as saying in the book.
The 28-year-old dismissed all the rumours. However, in interviews he has shared his stories of transformation when he made a few bad lifestyle decisions and was losing focus.