MUMBAI: It’s almost a week since ex-India coach Anil Kumble quit following “untenable differences” with skipper Virat Kohli, but facts continue to tumble out of the closet.
It was thought that the high-profile Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC), comprising greats Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman, spoke to both Kumble and Kohli in an effort to douse the tension between the two during the ICC Champions Trophy in England. However, TOI has learnt that the CAC never met Kumble and only spoke to Kohli in a bid to understand the issues between the two.
“The CAC gave a patient hearing to Virat (Kohli) and concluded that since the problems weren’t substantial, and the team’s performance was good, there was no reason to remove Kumble. It didn’t even meet Kumble to ask him his side of the story because it felt he had done a good job since being appointed by the CAC a year ago. The CAC’s stand perhaps made Virat desperate, and he then sought a meeting with the BCCI officials after the CT final in London last Monday,” said a source.
“Having conveyed its decision to the board, the CAC didn’t feel the need to attend this meeting, where only the BCCI officials -Amitabh Chaudhary (acting secretary), Rahul Johri (CEO) and MV Sridhar (GM, cricket operations) -were present, apart from Kohli and Kumble,”” he said, before revealing how the great leg-spinner hastily put in his papers -even though he had a room and a flight ticket booked for the Indian team’s tour of Caribbean -after the meeting.
“In the 45-minute meeting, Kohli did most of the talking, making it clear that he had reservations about both Kumble’s style of functioning and him continuing as head coach. It was nothing but pure humiliation for a man of his stature, and it wasn’t surprising that he didn’t even choose to serve out his ‘notice period’ and accompany the team to the West Indies for a short, limited overs tour. It’s clear that a few officials wanted Kumble to exit the scene,” he revealed.
In his ‘thank you’ note on social media, Kumble took a dig at Kohli. “I was informed for the first time yesterday by the BCCI that the captain had reservations with my ‘style’ and about my continuing as the head coach. I was surprised since I had always respected the role boundaries between captain and coach,” the 46-year-old posted.
How poorly the BCCI handled the controversy became apparent when Choudhary defended his statement during the Champions Trophy in which he dismissed reports of serious differences between Kohli and Kumble. “Smoke without fire statement concerning Kohli-Kumble differences was made in real time when I didn’t see any smoke,” Choudhary said here on Monday .
Meanwhile, the board’s decision to re-invite applications for the coach’s post after Anil Kumble stepped down hasn’t gone down well with former India player and current Afghanistan coach Lalchand Rajput. “It is humiliating. To have submitted the resume, to have been shortlisted and to be now told that fresh applications will also be accepted is highly unprofessional on the part of the BCCI. It does show that the board never had faith in the other five candidates apart from Kumble and once he stepped down, they need new names to pick from,” he was quoted as saying.
Meanwhile, it’s learnt that batting great Rahul Dravid is likely to continue as the India Under-19 and India ‘A’ coach. Dravid met Rahul Johri at the BCCI office on Sunday evening. “We’re likely to finalize his fresh contract when we meet him today. He’s fine with accepting a 12-month contract for two years, which means that he’ll have to quit as mentor of the Delhi Daredevils. The only issue is compensation, and we expect him to come up with a figure which we can afford,” said a source.
Apparently, in the earlier arrangement, Dravid earned Rs 8 crore-Rs 4 crore for being the India junior coach and an equal amount for his services rendered to DD. “We’re hoping he quotes a reasonable figure for himself, because the senior Indian team’s coach would have to be higher paid. At the same time, we don’t want him to suffer losses for missing out on IPL duty,” said an official.