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ICC Champions Trophy: Decision on Anil Kumble keeps Indian team on tenterhooks

According to Anil Kumble’s one-year contract with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), his term expires at the end of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 but the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (COA), led by Vinod Rai, wants him to continue only if he is keen.

icc champions trophy 2017 Updated: Jun 17, 2017 08:35 IST
Soumitra Bose
Soumitra Bose
Hindustan Times, London
ICC Champions Trophy,Champions Trophy 2017,Anil Kumble
Indian cricket team coach Anil Kumble during the nets during the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 in England.(Reuters)

There is a strong indication that Anil Kumble’s job as the Indian cricket team’s head coach is on the line.

Although the Cricket Advisory Committee, comprising Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman, is keen that the former leg-spinner continues at least till the end of the limited overs series in the West Indies, Kumble may not like to.

READ | Will Anil Kumble resign as Indian cricket team coach? Signs are strong

As per Kumble’s one-year contract with the BCCI, his term expires at the end of the ICC Champions Trophy but the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators, led by Vinod Rai, wants Kumble to continue only if he is keen.

While reports of rift with captain Virat Kohli may not be totally true, Kumble’s presence in the dressing room is not welcomed by senior players, revealed a top BCCI source. “Yes, players do not want him and there will be a change in coach for sure,” the official said. The question is when?

“The CAC is really worried about this issue and given the fact that the Caribbean series is upon us, this is not the right time to change the coach. But it will eventually happen,” said the Board official.

READ | ‘Advantage India in ICC Champions Trophy final vs Pakistan’


The Indian team will travel to the Caribbean on June 20 for the limited-overs series. A decision on who will travel as coach with the team will be taken in the next 48 hours.

No one wanted to confirm. Everyone HT spoke to was tightlipped and that raises suspicion that something is amiss.

If India beat Pakistan in the Champions Trophy final on Sunday, it will be a good occasion for Kumble to end his association with the Indian team.


Kohli once again spoke highly of batting coach Sanjay Bangar after India battered Bangladesh by nine wickets in the ICC Champions Trophy semifinal at Edgbaston on Thursday.

READ | India vs Pakistan: Mohammad Amir fit, Jasprit Bumrah says anything can happen

Not only Bangar, Kohli mentioned Raghu, one man who throws balls to players trying to perfect their strokes for hours during nets.

“Bangar’s inputs have been priceless. If I have become a better batsman, it’s because of Bangar and Raghu,” said Kohli.

The separation with Kumble would have been smoother if Kohli was not involved in this mess, said the BCCI official.

READ | ICC Champions Trophy: Virat Kohli and his art of living cricket to the fullest

Should Kohli be given the superpowers to even select a coach? That’s not an ideal scenario for the CAC. That will be setting a bad precedent too. Given the fact that Ganguly believes in complete powers for the team captain, Kohli may just win the battle.

One thing is for sure, Virender Sehwag is a rank outsider even though the CAC, which has the complete faith of the BCCI, is keen on an Indian head coach.

First Published: Jun 16, 2017 23:30 IST