T20 World Cup 2024: Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma bid farewell to T20 internationals after India’s triumph

The writing on the wall for both Rohit and Virat may have been visible after India’s 2022 T20 World Cup semi-final defeat
In frame: Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma
In frame: Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma

Saturday’s T20 World Cup final in Barbados was a night of high drama, both on and off the field. India emerged victorious against South Africa in a nail-biting contest, but the real fireworks came after the final wicket fell. Virat Kohli, Player of the Match for his match-winning 76 runs, stunned the cricket world with an emotional announcement – it was his last T20I for India.

“This was my last T20 World Cup, this is exactly what we wanted to achieve,” Virat declared, his voice thick with emotion. He expressed his gratitude for the opportunity and the perfect timing of his departure, stating, “Time for the next generation to take the T20 game forward.”

In frame: Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma
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Harsha Bhogle, seeking confirmation, prompted Virat to clarify if this meant his T20I career was over. The athlete’s response was unequivocal, “Yes, I have. This was my last T20 game playing for India.” He further emphasised that the decision wouldn’t have been swayed by the outcome of the match.

Virat’s retirement wasn’t the only shocker of the night. Shortly after, Rohit Sharma, India’s captain, announced he too was stepping down from T20 internationals. “No better time to say goodbye,” Rohit declared, celebrating India’s historic win.

Rohit’s decision mirrored Virat’s – a fitting end to a stellar T20I career that began and concluded with a World Cup victory. He holds the distinction of being India’s highest run-scorer in T20Is, amassing a staggering 4231 runs in 159 matches. He also holds the record for most centuries by an Indian batsman in the format, with an impressive five. His leadership culminated in a memorable 50th win as skipper, capping off a remarkable career.

In frame: Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma
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The writing on the wall for Rohit and Virat may have been visible after India’s 2022 T20 World Cup semi-final defeat. A 14-month hiatus to focus on ODIs for the 50-overs World Cup fuelled speculation that the BCCI and Indian cricket were moving on. However, their surprise inclusion in the T20I series against Afghanistan in January proved otherwise. While some questioned the decision, it ultimately paid off spectacularly. The night belonged to India, but it was also a poignant farewell to two legends of the game.

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