Just two days after India’s unexpected and embarrassing 180-run defeat at the hands of Pakistan in the Champions Trophy 2017 final, Anil Kumble resigned from his position as coach.
He reportedly resigned amidst speculations of rift with Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli. As quoted by Business Standard, a few hours after resigning, Kumble said that his partnership with Kohli had become “untenable” despite several attempts to resolve the issues.
In his resignation, Kumble wrote:
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 the captain and coach. Though the BCCI attempted to resolve the misunderstandings between the captain and me, it was apparent that the partnership was untenable and therefore I believe it is best for me to move on. Professionalism, discipline, commitment, honesty, complimentary skills and diverse views are the key traits I bring to the table. These need to be valued for the partnership to be effective. I see the coach’s role akin to holding a mirror to drive self improvement in the team’s interest. In light of these reservations, I believe it is best I hand over this responsibility to whomever the CAC and the BCCI deem fit. Let me reiterate that it has been an absolute privilege to have served as head coach for the last one year… I will remain a well-wisher of the great cricketing tradition of my country forever.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) issued a statement:
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) confirms that Anil Kumble has withdrawn his services as the post of the Head Coach for the Senior India Men’s team. While the Cricket Advisory Committee had endorsed an extension to his tenure as Head Coach, Anil Kumble has decided not to continue as the coach. The BCCI will continue to seek the assistance of the Cricket Advisory Committee in its search for a new Head Coach for the Senior India Men’s Cricket Team. In the interim, the BCCI has deputed MV Sridhar, GM – Cricket Operations to supervise the team management for the West Indies tour.
Kumble’s one-year contract expired at the conclusion of Champions Trophy but he was given the choice of travelling to West Indies for a limited-over series set to start on Friday. However, being the chairman of cricket committee, he decided to stay in London for the annual conference of the International Cricket Council (ICC).
After the Cricket Advisory Committee was unsuccessful in resolving the friction between skipper Virat Kohli and coach Anil Kumble, the two met the top officials of the BCCI before Kohli left for West Indies.
There was noticeably no interaction between Kohli and Kumble even during the practice sessions of the Champions Trophy.
During Kumble’s tenure, Indian cricket team did fairly well. They rose to the number 1 position in the Test rankings. In the ODIs, India won 8 matches and lost 5. Yet reports of conflicts between the captain and coach kept pouring in.
Before the commencement of the Champions Trophy, BCCI had invited applications for the position of head coach. Among others who applied were Tom Moody, Virender Sehwag, Lalchand Rajput and Richard Pybus.