Head Coach of the Indian Cricket team, Anil Kumble, stepped down from his position, and gave in his resignation. While the Indian team proceeded to the West Indies on Tuesday, coach Kumble stayed behind.
The BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) had informed Kumble that the captain of the team had 'reservations' about his style as a coach and hence,the decision. Earlier, there had been rumours of a rift between the coach and the captain, and the BCCI had also advertised for the coach's job, before the onset of the ICC Champions Trophy, 2017.
Kumble's resignation came two days after the crushing loss handed out to the Indian team by Pakistan in the final, at The Oval. The 46 year-old, however, has been praised for his role as coach, and the Indian Board officials have praised Kumble's efforts and sincerity, in his contribution towards making Team India number one in Test position.
Captain Virat Kohli was not available for any comments, as he accompanied the team to the Caribbean for the West Indies series, which begins on June 23rd, 2017. The BCCI had urged Kumble to continue in his post until the end of the West Indies tour, but he deferred to continue. In his resignation letter, Kumble had maintained that the partnership between him and the captain (Kohli) was 'untenable.'
Anil Kumble stated that he had always respected the boundaries between the captain and the coach. He thanked the CAC (Cricket Advisory Committee) for reposing their confidence in him. He said that it had been an absolute privilege for him to be serving Indian cricket in his capacity as the head coach, for the last one year, and thanked the BCCI, CAC, CoA, and all concerned.
Reports that suggested that Kumble was 'a hard taskmaster' did not go down well with senior Indian cricketers. Former Indian captain and legendary batsman Sunil Gavaskar was severe on these reports. He asked if the team wanted a 'softie,' one who went 'easy' on the players, and allowed them to go shopping, or skip practice if they did not feel well. Gavaskar said that if Kumble was a hard taskmaster, then he had achieved results for India in the past one year.
The batting legend minced no words when he acknowledged Kumble's contribution to the game as a player and as a coach. He said that any maligning of Anil Kumble or bad-mouthing him would not be tolerated. Gavaskar said that the resignation by Kumble sent out a sad message, that either the coach should bow to the wishes of the players, or step down from the post.
Gavaskar said that the CAC had pesuaded Kumble to stay back and retain his position as head coach. "Kumble should have stuck on. I hope he will take it on the chin and come back stronger. This is the first time I am seeing a known fighter like Anil not standing up," he observed. He also added that the CAC had a very long meeting with Anil Kumble. He added that the CAC should use more of their expertise, rather than just appointing a coach. He said that the Board should appoint a coach before the team left for Sri Lanka.
Gavaskar noted that differences would always be there between two individuals, but clearly there was something in the Indian team which did 'not gel.' "I don't have knowledge of any differences between Kumble and Kohli," said Gavaskar, "but it is indeed a very sad day for Indian cricket," he added.
Former spin bowler, Bishen Singh Bedi said that Kumble had obviously delivered the goods and no one could blame him "This super star culture in the team will be heavy and cost them," observed the legendary spinner and former captain. Bedi also observed that Kumble had not seemed very enthusiastic during the ICC Champions Trophy tournament.
Most of the former cricketers and commentators expressed their disbelief and sadness as India's legendary leg spinner, Anil Kumble stepped down as the head coach of the Indian team. They said that the issue could have been handled in a better way. 46 year-old Kumble stated that only the previous day had he come to know from the BCCI, about Kohli's reservations about his 'style.'
Kumble said that he had brought to the table, professionalism, discipline, commitment, honesty, complimentary skills and diverse views. He added that the role of a coach for him was like 'holding a mirror' to drive self-improvement in the team interest.
Most former cricketers and commentators said that the BCCI had not handled the situation well. They strongly felt that the BCCI should give Kumble a bigger role in Indian cricket.