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Kohli-Kumble episode should have been handled better – Ganguly

CricketKohli-Kumble episode should have been handled better - Ganguly

Former India captain Sourav Ganguly has said that the differences between former coach Anil Kumble and captain Virat Kohli had not been handled properly. Ganguly is a member of the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) that is tasked by the BCCI with identifying India’s new coach, and had zeroed in on Kumble last year. The CAC, it is understood, was also entrusted with the responsibility of breaking the impasse between Kohli and Kumble, but after discussions with Kohli, it reported to the board that the relationship was beyond repair.kumble-kohli_1003ca_875

“The matter between Kumble and Kohli should have been handled a lot better, by whoever in charge. It was not handled properly,” Ganguly told reporters in Kolkata on Tuesday.

On Sunday, during the state associations’ meeting with the BCCI’s Committee of Administrators, Ganguly disagreed that the CAC was undermined by the Kumble-Kohli episode. He had then pithily spelt out what kind of coach the committee was looking for: “[The one] who can win cricket matches.”

With the deadline for applications for the job of coach extended till July 9 following Kumble’s exit, Ganguly, along with his former team-mates Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman, will now have to look into the applications of the five candidates that have already submitted their resumes – Virender Sehwag, Tom Moody, Lalchand Rajput, Richard Pybus and Dodda Ganesh – as well as those of anyone else who applies for the post. The latest contender is former India team director Ravi Shastri, whom Kumble replaced last year. Shastri told ESPNcricinfo that “he will apply for sure”.

Incidentally, Ganguly and Shastri were involved in a spat during the interview process to appoint the coach last year. While Shastri was affronted by Ganguly’s absence during the interview, the latter took a dig at Shastri not turning up in person to make his presentation. Now, asked about Shastri’s application, Ganguly said: “Everybody has got the right to apply. We will find out. I can also apply, provided I am not an administrator.”

Kumble’s resignation came four days before the limited-overs tour to the Caribbean began, with him deeming his partnership with Kohli to be “untenable”. The exit had come following media reports that Kohli had told the BCCI that some players weren’t comfortable with Kumble’s “intimidating” approach to managing players. Consequently, despite Kumble’s successful one-year tenure, the board invited fresh applications for the head coach’s position instead of extending his contract, which ran till the end of the Champions Trophy.

Kumble, who was given a direct entry, reapplied for the job, and was learnt to have accepted the BCCI’s offer to extend his contract for the West Indies series. He subsequently said, however, that he couldn’t continue given the reservations that Kohli had with his methods.

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