After India’s humiliating World Cup loss, the BCCI ended Virat Kohli’s tenure as India’s white-ball captain with a matter-of-fact statement on Wednesday, handing the reins to Rohit Sharma “going ahead.” The BCCI reportedly waited for Kohli, who has already stepped down as T20 captain, to willingly stand aside from ODI captaincy as well, but he did not. Kohli’s dismissal was not even mentioned in the BCCI statement, which simply stated that the selection committee has chosen to make Rohit captain of the ODI and T20I squads moving forward. Kohli was relieved of his captaincy. It was as simple as that.

Kohli was fired by the BCCI and its national selection committee, maybe because he aspired to captain India in the 2023 ODI World Cup at home. Kohli’s leadership epitaph was written the moment India was eliminated from the T20 World Cup at the group stage, but BCCI officials wanted to give the captain of the last four and a half years a dignified goodbye. In the end, it appears like Kohli challenged the BCCI to fire him, and the parent body did just that, leaving the formerly all-powerful skipper with no choice but to accept it. Kohli’s leadership cycle has been a fascinating narrative in and of itself.

He began as a brash captain-in-waiting under Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who took him under his wing and trained him well enough before convincing him that it was time to give him white-ball captaincy and at least two years to prepare for a World Cup. Kohli became the team’s all-powerful captain during the next two years, able to get things done his way. It didn’t hurt that he had a Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators that gave in to all of his demands, some of which were reasonable and some of which were not. Then, along with a very powerful secretary and a president who knows a thing or two about being a successful captain himself, the traditional administrators returned to the business. There was no room for two different white-ball captains in the end.