Kohli, Rohit announce retirement from T20Is afer WC victory

In a historic moment for Indian cricket, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma announced their retirements from T20 Internationals following India’s thrilling seven-run victory over South Africa in the final of the 2024 Men’s T20 World Cup. The decision comes after Kohli played a pivotal role in the final, scoring 76 off 59 balls, and was awarded the Player of the Match.

Virat Kohli, who debuted in T20Is in June 2010, concluded his T20I career on a high note. Speaking to the official broadcaster after receiving his Player of the Match award, Kohli confirmed his retirement. “This was my last T20 World Cup, this is exactly what we wanted to achieve. One day you feel like you can’t get a run and this happens, God is great. Just the occasion, now or never kind of situation. This was my last T20 game playing for India. We wanted to lift that cup,” Kohli said.

He further elaborated, “Yes, I have [announced my retirement from T20Is], this was an open secret. It was not something that I wasn’t going to announce even if we had lost. It’s time for the next generation to take the T20 game forward. It’s been a long wait for us, waiting to win an ICC tournament. You look at someone like Rohit [Sharma], he’s played nine T20 World Cups and this is my sixth. He deserves it.”

Kohli’s T20I career has been illustrious, featuring in 125 games and scoring 4188 runs, including one century and 38 half-centuries. He also won two Player of the Tournament awards in the T20 World Cups of 2014 and 2016, finishing as the second-highest run-getter in T20Is behind Rohit Sharma.

Rohit Sharma, who confirmed his retirement in the press conference after the match, shared his emotions. “This was my last [T20I] game as well. No better time to say goodbye to this format. I’ve loved every moment of this. I started my India career playing this format. This is what I wanted, I wanted to win the cup,” he said.

Expressing his sentiments, Rohit added, “I wanted this badly. Very hard to put in words. It was a very emotional moment for me. I was very desperate for this title in my life. Happy that we eventually crossed the line.”

Rohit made his T20I debut in the inaugural T20 World Cup against England in Durban in 2007. He played 159 matches for India, scoring 4231 runs to end his career as the highest run-getter in the format for his country. His achievements include five centuries, with a career-best 121 not out against Afghanistan earlier this year, and 32 half-centuries. He also retires as the most successful T20I captain with 50 wins, surpassing Pakistan’s Babar Azam.

As India celebrates its second T20 World Cup title, the retirements of Kohli and Sharma mark the end of an era. Both players have been instrumental in shaping the team’s success in the shortest format of the game. Their contributions have set high standards and left a lasting legacy for the next generation of cricketers to follow.

The cricketing world bids farewell to these legends of the T20 format, acknowledging their exceptional careers and the joy they brought to millions of fans. Their retirements open a new chapter in Indian cricket, with young talents ready to step up and carry forward the legacy.