Rohit Sharma joins Virat Kohli in India T20 retirement after World Cup win

Sharma captained the side to their second T20 World Cup while Kohli was Player of the Match in the win against South Africa.

India's Virat Kohli, left, and captain Rohit Sharma pose with the trophy after defeating South Africa in the ICC Men's T20 World Cup final cricket match at Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados [Ricardo Mazalan/AP]

India captain Rohit Sharma has followed Virat Kohli in announcing his retirement from T20 internationals shortly after the pair helped their team beat South Africa in the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup final.

Kohli, 35, produced a match-winning knock of 76 in his final international game in this format to set up India’s seven-run win in the humdinger at the Kensington Oval on Saturday.

In the immediacy of the win, an emotional Kohli, 35, spoke after collecting the Player of the Match award: “This was my last T20 game playing for India. Time for the next generation to take the T20 game forward.”

Kohli retires from the format with 4,188 runs from 125 T20 Internationals with a strike rate of 137.

Only a matter of hours later, Sharma joined opening partner Kohli in quitting the T20 Internationals.

His tally is second only to Rohit’s 4,231 from 159 matches, which include a record five hundreds.

India's Virat Kohli celebrates after their win against South Africa in the ICC Men's T20 World Cup final cricket match at Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados, Saturday, June 29, 2024. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)
Virat Kohli celebrates after winning the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup final against South Africa at the Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados [Ricardo Mazalan/AP]

Sharma follows Kohli’s lead

Addressing a news conference long after the final, Rohit, who was part of India’s triumphant 2007 squad, also announced his retirement from the T20 Internationals.

“This was my last [T20I] game as well,” the 37-year-old said.

“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.

“I was very desperate for this title in my life. Happy that we eventually crossed the line.”

Both men will continue to play Test and 50-overs cricket for India.


Considered a modern batting great, Kohli had not been in the best of form in the tournament but saved his best for the final.

India were in big trouble at 34-3 when he combined with Axar Patel to help his side post 176-7, the highest total in a T20 World Cup final.

“This is exactly what we wanted to achieve,” Kohli said.

Kohli, who finally came to the party with the bat at the most important stage, was duly awarded Player of the Match for his 76 off 59: “This is my last T20 World Cup and this is exactly what I wanted to achieve.

“I said to Rohit: ‘One day, you feel like you can’t get a run, then you come out and things happen for you.’ I am really grateful to get the job done for the team on the day it mattered the most.

“It was now or never. This is my last T20 game for India, so I wanted to make the most of it. This was our aim, to win an ICC tournament.

“The occasion made me put my head down, respect the situation and play the innings that the team needed from me.”

Kohli said his retirement from the game’s shortest format was “an open secret”.

This was India’s first global title since winning the 2013 Champions Trophy.

“It hasn’t quite sunk in for me yet. It’s an amazing day,” Kohli added.

Source: Al Jazeera