Broadcaster Star Sports is among the stakeholders who are reportedly not pleased with the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s decision to rest captain Virat Kohli for the Asia Cup, which started on Saturday.
The 29-year-old’s absence from the Indian squad has led to a war of words between the BCCI and its regulators and commercial partners, according to a report in Mumbai Mirror.
Star India have claimed that Kohli’s absence from the fortnight-long tournament will have serious commercial implications, along with the erosion of the competitive value of the event, the report said. According to the broadcaster, its television ratings soar when Kohli bats while his dismissal lead to a slump in viewership.
Star Sports had bought the broadcast rights of the Asia Cup in 2016 for eight years. The broadcaster has reportedly written to the Asian Cricket Council stating that the implicit clauses in the eight-year agreement have not been honoured, the report said. All other teams apart from India have picked full-strength squads. However, the BCCI has said that Star has no right to give its opinion on matters such as squad selection, the report added.
Rohit Sharma is leading India at the Asia Cup in Kohli’s absence. India will take on Hong Kong in their first match on Tuesday before a clash against arch-rivals Pakistan the following day.