Tension over the future of India’s head coach Anil Kumble grew on Friday (2) after a top cricket administrator resigned slamming the Indian board for its handling of the controversy.
Amid a reported battle between team captain Virat Kohli and Kumble, a deadline for applications to become head coach passed this week without any announcement by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
Top names like Virender Sehwag and Australia’s Tom Moody have reportedly applied for the job which comes vacant when Kumble’s one-year term expires after the Champions Trophy. Kumble is also in the running.
Ramachandra Guha, who quit a Supreme Court-appointed four-member committee overseeing the BCCI, backed Kumble to be given an extension.
Guha, in a letter written to the committee of administrators (COA) chairman Vinod Rai, criticised the BCCI as he gave reasons for quitting the post that he only took on January 30.
“The Indian team’s record this past season has been excellent; and even if the players garner the bulk of the credit, surely the head coach and his support staff also get some,” Guha wrote.
Kumble helped India win all five Test series since his appointment in June last year, but the BCCI has insisted it has followed routine procedure by inviting applicants for the coach’s job.
“In a system based on justice and merit, the head coach’s term would have been extended. Instead, Kumble was left hanging, and then told the post would be re-advertised afresh.
“Clearly, the issue has been handled in an extremely insensitive and unprofessional manner by the BCCI CEO and the BCCI office-bearers, with the COA, by its silence and inaction, unfortunately being complicit in this regard,” said Guha.
“Due process had to be followed since Kumble’s original appointment was only for one year, why was this not done during April and May, when the IPL was on?,” he added.
With India starting their defence of the Champions Trophy against Pakistan on Sunday (4), Guha’s resignation has reinforced the reports of a rift between Kumble and Kohli over tactics and training.
“If indeed the captain and the Head Coach were not getting along, why was this not attended to as soon as the Australia series was over in late March?.
“Why was it left until the last minute, when a major international tournament was imminent, and when the uncertainty would undermine the morale and ability to focus of the coach, the captain and the team?,” said Guha.
The 59-year-old academic came down heavily on Indian stars including Sunil Gavaskar and Mahendra Singh Dhoni as well as the preferential treatment accorded to them by the BCCI.
Guha slammed Gavaskar’s role in heading a company involving Indian cricketers and commentating on them as a BCCI TV analyst. He blamed the COA for not taking action on such matters.
He also criticised the Grade A contract given to Dhoni despite the former captain having left Test cricket, saying the “superstar syndrome” is sending the “wrong message”.
Guha along with Rai, banker Vikram Limaye and former Indian women’s captain Diana Edulji were appointed to run the BCCI after the Supreme court sacked its top officials for failing to implement reforms.
Guha has said former Indian paceman and ICC match referee Javagal Srinath or any respected male cricketer should replace him on the panel.