Fun fact: This author missed the one-liner at the bottom of the BCCI email that stated Rohit Sharma would take over as the ODI and T20I skipper going forward.

I mean, who even reads the last line of an email? I’ll take that blame, but let me walk you through it.

“India’s squad for Tests against South Africa announced” reads BCCI’s subject line. The content, as promised in the subject, goes on to reveal the size of the squad inside a brief introduction with the Test squad listed below it. The subject of the email is satisfied at this point. Everything else in the email should be trash ideally. It doesn’t have to be SEO compliant.

But, casually thrown in, almost as an afterthought, below the squad and above a tabular column is: “The All-India Senior Selection Committee also decided to name Mr Rohit Sharma as the Captain of the ODI & T20I teams going forward”. Also copy-pasted to social media handles. An ODI captaincy change thrown in at the bottom of an email about a Test squad!

No separate media release – forget a press conference – to announce a change of captaincy when the one leaving the post (read sacked) is the biggest name in Indian cricket. Hell, the only time his name appears in the email is within the Test squad details.

This is not to say that the news is a bolt from the blue. Thanks to the infinite number of “sources” that leak information to different publications, we knew the change was imminent. If it’s the right call or not is a different debate altogether – one we’ll not delve into now – but what comes through, in no uncertain terms, is the brazen refusal of the board to be transparent.

Three months ago, when Virat Kohli announced that he was stepping aside from the T20I captaincy after the T20 World Cup, a popular journalist tweeted that BCCI weren’t keen on split-captaincy. “If Virat doesn’t win the World T20 can he remain captain in the 50-over format? Seems it’s very much up in the air,” the tweet read.

Did Kohli know of this possibility? If he did, would he have expressed in his statement that he felt the need to give himself space “to be fully ready to lead the Indian Team in Test and ODI Cricket”?

India last played an ODI five months ago, with a second-string side. With Kohli and a full-strength side, an ODI was last played nine months ago. If the BCCI desired to move on from Kohli as skipper in this format before the 2023 World Cup at home, shouldn’t that discussion have taken place before his announcement to leave the captaincy in the shortest format?

Instead, we now hear, through “sources” of course, that Kohli was given an ultimatum of 48 hours to voluntarily step down from ODI leadership.

The cacophony around the captaincy debate – the truth bombs, leaks and lies – aside, this is as blatant an example as any of a governing body failing to communicate properly with its members and its followers. It’s ironic that all of this unfolds at a time the BCCI President is Sourav Ganguly. Inside sources and scoops were a norm in his time as captain and it took a closed leader in MS Dhoni to shut access to the dressing room and prevent leaks of any kind.

The public, yet not actually public, fallout between the powerful skipper and the even more powerful governing body (we now know who holds all the aces) has hogged headlines for months now, and the apparent sacking, as much as Rohit’s appointment, despite the stature of Kohli and his extraordinary record, as captain and player, comes as no surprise.

What’s disappointing, more than the manner in which the news came out, is the fact that this power struggle and the lack of clarity from the board has denied Indian fans the chance to bask in a truly magnificent era. At a time we should be celebrating two unmistakable greats of the game, we are debating which side they are on, and the politics, not the cricket. Thank you, BCCI.