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Friday, Sep 20, 2019

Champions Trophy: Anil Kumble wanting to stay coach good news for Indian cricket

Anil Kumble has officially re-applied for the post of the Indian cricket team’s head coach, despite the BCCI claiming he would be a direct entry in the final list. The board is expected to take a decision before the ICC Champions Trophy ends on June 18.

icc-champions-trophy-2017 Updated: Jun 08, 2017 00:36 IST
N Ananthanarayanan
N Ananthanarayanan
Hindustan Times
Anil Kumble’s one-year contract as India cricket team’s head coach is due to end after the ICC Champions Trophy.
Anil Kumble’s one-year contract as India cricket team’s head coach is due to end after the ICC Champions Trophy. (AFP)

Found repeatedly flouting even the spirit of the rules, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had argued through anonymous officials that its seeking applications for prospective India coaches is only in keeping with the letter of the law; even if that went against the dictum ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’

(Read | Anil Kumble back in race for Indian cricket coach job, will he edge out Sehwag?)

After the controversy for a fortnight over reports coach Anil Kumble has become unpopular with skipper Virat Kohli and other players and hence is unlikely to stay on despite his success in the first year, it now emerges he has applied for the job despite being a direct entry and has also given a roadmap -- read plan to win overseas Test series.

(Read | Virat Kohli on ‘rift’ with Anil Kumble: Stop speculating, writing rumours)

The BCCI is yet to make any announcement, but Kumble’s fresh application for a job none thought would open up anytime soon is no doubt a big counter to anonymous BCCI officials seeking to paint an ugly picture of the former India skipper.

Kohli blames media

Virat Kohli squarely blaming the media on Saturday for reporting without knowing the facts to magnify the differences suggested the issue was being blown out of proportion.

(Read | Virender Sehwag sends 2-line resume for job of India head coach)

And it is unlikely Kumble would have applied if he felt he didn’t stand a chance of being retained in the post when his tenure ends on June 18, with the Champions Trophy final. The Cricket Advisory Committee comprising former teammates Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman that selected him last year can’t have issues with India’s most successful Test bowler as far as results are concerned.

(Read | Craig McDermott applies for Indian cricket team coach job: Report)

There are six other applicants, with Virender Sehwag seen as the leading candidate if Kumble’s continuation was considered untenable. But what on the surface looked like impudence in his sending a two-line application to BCCI could well be a message he won’t do anything to hurt Kumble. After all, their connection runs deep.

Kumble recalled Viru

It was Kumble as skipper who took the initiative amid the tumultuous Australia tour of 2007-8 to recall Sehwag after a year out, reigniting his Test career. Sehwag the bowler shone on comeback in the famous Perth win, then hit 151 in the Adelaide draw before smashing an Indian record 319 in the Chennai Test against South Africa. He was back.

(Read | How Virender Sehwag had a demoralising effect on Ravichandran Ashwin)

With only Tom Moody, the former Sri Lanka coach who guides Hyderabad Sunrisers, and fellow Aussie Craig McDermott the other credible candidates, the CAC will have a tough decision to make if Kumble ‘can’t’ be given an extension.

And though the current ‘row’ has been compared to Ganguly’s bitter differences with Greg Chappell over a decade ago, it is unlikely the former skipper or Tendulkar would want to put all eggs in one basket -- hand over the reins to the captain that removing Kumble would effectively mean.

First Published: Jun 07, 2017 21:32 IST