The BCCI top brass had an inkling that all was not well but they were taken aback when they came to know that captain Virat Kohli and chief coach Anil Kumble were not in talking terms for the “last six months”.
Another important thing that has come out in the open was that the Chief Advisory Committee, comprising Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman, also didn’t straightaway give the green light to Kumble’s extension.
“There had been reports that the CAC had okayed Kumble’s extension. They had okayed his extension but with a rider. They had said that Kumble should be retained provided all pending issues are resolved,” a senior BCCI official, who was present in London during the whole episode, told PTI.
Post the ICC Champions Trophy final, there were three separate meetings at the Indian team’s hotel.
The first was where Kumble met the BCCI top brass and members of CAC followed by Kohli meeting them.
The last and the most “eventful” meeting was when Kohli and Kumble were made to sit across the table. The talks failed completely as there was no communication.
“The two had stopped talking to each other since December when the England Test series got over. There were problems but it was like shocking that the two didn’t have any proper communication for the past six months. On Sunday evening after the final, they were made to sit across table and they both agreed that it’s not working out.”
When asked what was the problem, the source said: “When we spoke to Anil separately and specifically asked him if there’s any problem, he said he has ‘no problems with Virat’. He was also told about the specific areas where Kohli has reservations about his functioning, while Anil said these were non-issues.”
The official sounded helpless.
“Look, if one of the two protagonists feel that there are issues which seemed to be non-issue to the other one, only these two can then sort out. Once they sat across the table, both realised after coming out that it has gone beyond repair. Anil’s tickets were booked for Barbados. His wife was also supposed to join him but he knew it was over,” the official added.
Asked if he could be more specific, the official said: “Let’s put it that Virat felt that Anil is entering an area which was his domain. For Anil, who has been a decorated player and an India captain, he has his own beliefs and ideas but the final call always stays with the captain,” he said.