Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports Anurag Thakur said on Wednesday that no player was bigger than the game, a day after former Indian captain Mohammad Azharuddin tweeted about the supposed rift between Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma.

Thakur, when asked about the alleged rift between Kohli and Sharma, said, “Sports is supreme and nobody is bigger than sport. I can’t give you information as to what’s going on between which players in what game. It’s the job of the federations/associations concerned. It’ll be better if they give the information.”

Also read: ‘Was contacted by BCCI at the last moment’: Virat Kohli on losing ODI captaincy

Azharuddin had tweeted, “Virat Kohli has informed that he’s not available for the ODI series and Rohit Sharma is unavailable for the upcoming Test. There is no harm in taking a break but the timing has to be better. This just substantiates speculation about the rift. Neither will be giving up the other form of cricket.”

Former India cricketer Kirti Azad stated on Tuesday that if Rohit and Kohli do not play together, the Men in Blue would suffer.

Due to a hamstring injury, Rohit will miss the forthcoming Test series against South Africa. Rohit was given charge of the team for the ODI and T20I formats last week.

Also read: Virat Kohli to miss upcoming ODI series against South Africa: Report

A report of Kohli allegedly missing the upcoming ODI series against South Africa also surfaced yesterday. It fanned the flames of existing speculation of trouble in the Indian  dressing room.

However, a BCCI official refuted this claim yesterday and said, “He (Kohli) will be playing in the ODI series.”

“To my knowledge, even before any captaincy call was taken, Virat wanted to take a break from the SA ODIs,” Arun Dhumal, BCCI treasurer, also said, denying reports of any rift between Kohli and Rohit. 

India’s tour of South Africa will begin on December 26, as they face the Proteas in the first of three Test matches in the first leg of the tour.