Anil Kumble, a distinguished achiever as a player and as head coach of the Indian team for the last one year delivering outstanding results, has chosen to part ways from the National team with great dignity, but not in circumstances that he would have wished for.
From the time the 46-year-old took over the mantle of head coach in July 2016, with the first assignment in the West Indies, until the long home international season that culminated with the Test series against Australia, the cricketing fraternity felt that the Virat Kohli–Kumble combination worked wonders for the betterment of the Indian cricket.
Furthermore, there was also reason to believe that both the captain and he enjoyed a terrific rapport, which was not the case as it turned out to be.
Kumble was in for a shock when news broke out before the start of the ICC Champions Trophy that Kohli was gunning for his ouster, citing reservations about his style of functioning to BCCI officials and then to chairman of the Committee of Administrators Vinod Rai at a meeting in Hyderabad.
Although Kohli denied any such rift between him and Kumble at a press conference at Birmingham, BCCI officials knew that the situation had gone beyond rapprochement and that Kohli had indeed asked for a change of head coach, first recommending the name of Virender Sehwag.
The BCCI officials may have believed that something could be salvaged after a meeting with Kohli and Kumble at London on Monday evening, but sources said Kohli only reiterated his position vis-à-vis Kumble.
It was after this meeting that Kumble, although he had applied afresh for the head coach post, decided to step back. It must be said though that the CAC had strongly backed Kumble’s extension till the 2019 World Cup.
The BCCI confirmed the development on Tuesday saying: “Mr. Anil Kumble has withdrawn his services as the post of the Head Coach for the Senior India Men’s team. While the Cricket Advisory Committee had endorsed an extension to his tenure as Head Coach, Mr. Anil Kumble has decided not to continue as the coach.’’
M.V. Sridhar (GM, Cricket Operations) will supervise the team management for the West Indies tour.
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