Virat Kohli Retires from T20 Internationals After India Wins World Cup Title

Virat Kohli holding the Player of the Match award at the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2024.

Kohli announced his retirement after being named Player of the Match in the T20 World Cup final.

Barbados, June 29, 2024 — In a monumental moment for Indian cricket, Virat Kohli announced his retirement from T20 internationals immediately after India clinched their second T20 World Cup title with a thrilling seven-run victory against South Africa. The match, held in Barbados, saw Kohli play a pivotal role, scoring 76 runs off 59 balls, earning him the Player of the Match award.

“This was my last T20 World Cup, and this is exactly what we wanted to achieve,” Kohli said post-match. “This is an amazing game. I was telling Rohit today when we went out to bat that one day, you feel like you can’t get a run, and then you come out, and things happen. God is great. I bow my head in gratitude. I’m really grateful I was able to get the job done for the team when it mattered the most.”

Kohli’s announcement came as India celebrated their first ICC trophy since the 2011 ODI World Cup, which also marked Kohli’s debut World Cup. His T20I career concludes with 125 matches, amassing 4188 runs at an average of 48.69 and a strike rate of 137.04, making him India’s second-highest run-scorer in the format, just behind Rohit Sharma.

India’s victory in the final was a testament to the team’s resilience and strategic prowess. Batting first, India set a competitive target of 169 runs. Kohli’s 76 off 59 balls provided a solid foundation, supported by crucial contributions from other batters. In response, South Africa fought valiantly but fell short by seven runs, thanks to disciplined bowling and sharp fielding from the Indian side.

Reflecting on the journey, Kohli stated, “Look, it’s been a long wait for us, waiting to win an ICC tournament. It’s not just me alone; you look at someone like Rohit [Sharma, the captain] as well. He’s played nine T20 World Cups. It is my sixth. So he deserves it as much as anyone else in the squad. We’re just happy we were able to get the job done.”

A Legacy of Excellence

Kohli’s T20 World Cup performance was a rollercoaster, with his form fluctuating throughout the tournament. Before the final, he had managed only 75 runs in seven innings, facing criticism and doubt. However, his match-winning knock in the final silenced critics and underscored his ability to perform under pressure.

“To be honest, I couldn’t have imagined this in my wildest dreams, also considering how my tournament had gone so far,” Kohli said in an interview with Star Sports. “Great lesson for me. The big game really humbled me. Put my head down and ego on the side. If you think you are everything and can do wonders, you are nothing. You really have to put your head down and respect the situation.”

Kohli’s retirement marks the end of an era in Indian T20 cricket. His leadership, batting prowess, and passion for the game have inspired countless fans and young cricketers. As he steps aside, Kohli expressed confidence that the next generation will carry the torch forward.

“This was going to be my last T20 World Cup playing for India; it’s time for the next generation to take over,” Kohli said. “Some amazing players are playing in India. They’re going to take the team forward in the T20 format and do wonders, as we’ve seen them do in the IPL. I’ve no doubts they’ll keep the flag waving high and really take this team further from here now.”

Also Read: India’s Stunning Comeback Seals T20 World Cup Glory Against South Africa