Anil Kumble has stepped down as the Indian cricket team’s head coach, two days after India lost the Champions Trophy final against Pakistan and four days prior to the team playing their first match in the limited-overs series in the Caribbean.
According to a top BCCI official, Kumble’s decision to step down also means fresh applications will be invited for the coach’s post.
“The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) confirms that Mr Anil Kumble has withdrawn his services as the post of the Head Coach for the Senior India Men’s team,” the cricket board release said, adding that MV Sridhar, the BCCI general manager-cricket operations, will “supervise the Team Management for the West Indies tour”, and Sanjay Bangar and R Sridhar will continue as batting coach and fielding coach respectively.
Kumble’s one-year contract expired after the Champions Trophy. On Monday morning, the Indian cricket team sans their coach left for West Indies from London.
According to a source, Kohli had a separate meeting with the CAC ahead of the Champions Trophy final during which he reiterated his aversion towards Kumble continuing as the head coach. It basically proved to be the tipping point. That Kohli and Kumble were never on the same page had been confirmed by the former BCCI secretary Ajay Shirke during a recent interview with this paper.
“There had been some murmurs about this (the reported Kumble-Kohli controversy) even at the time of Mr Kumble’s appointment. At that time our president (Anurag Thakur) had taken the initiative and he had a detailed discussion with both the parties, and it was decided that since the committee (CAC) had recommended Mr Kumble as the best option, we should go ahead with that. Therefore, I think the real reason for a one-year contract was that we would work and evolve, and see how this went so as to keep the options open at a future date,” Shirke had said.
Kumble took charge from Ravi Shastri, who was the team director, in June last year and presided over five Test series wins in a row and three limited-overs series victories in 12 months.
India won 12 Tests under him and lost only one. The team also reached the Champions Trophy final before stumbling at the final hurdle.