LONDON: Team India is hogging limelight just ahead of the Champions Trophy – but for all the bad reasons. The reported tiff between senior players and headcoach Anil Kumble has spiraled out of the dressing room to the attention of mediamen.
Recently Board of Cricket Control of India (BCCI) chose not to automatically extend the tenure of Anil Kumble as the head coach, choosing instead to advertise the position. Now latest reports suggest that Indian skipper,
Virat Kohli has complained to the board about Kumble’s approach in dealing with the players and described his coaching method as ‘intimidating’.
The news comes at a time when India is preparing to take on Pakistan in its opening match of the Champions Trophy on June 4. Indian cricket’s Big Three – BCCI’s advisory panel of Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman – will now be expected to broker peace between Kumble and Kohli’s men. The advisory committee has been entrusted with the job of naming the next India coach. Kumble was considered the front-runner for an extension till the 2019 World Cup, with Team India having won everything under him in the past one year.
Cricinfo cited an unnamed BCCI official as saying that:
Kumble has been conducting himself like a “headmaster” at a school.
“Such an approach had not gone down well with the players who are used to a more relaxed dressing room. Some players – not the bigger personalities like Kohli or MS Dhoni – have felt “a bit intimidated” by Kumble’s approach,” said the report.
It doesn’t just end here. Such an approach also led to the injuries that have ruled players out during Kumble’s tenure and they were not strictly cricket related.
“Kumble was pushing hard. The bulk of them [injuries] are non-cricketing injuries. One of the players was stressed out. So the team is not a happy lot,” the official confided to the website.
What has surprised the BCCI is that Kumble failed to read these concerns. The official said that the reason Kumble has been successful was because “the team has been successful” playing cricket mostly at home. “The way the cricket set-up works in India is the coach is not the king. So the coach has to understand that.”
Kumble’s contract as India coach will come to an end after the Champions Trophy and the board recently sent out a media release inviting applications for the position.