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Partnership with captain Kohli was untenable, says Kumble

Anil Kumble, Virat Kohli

Acknowledging the rift with captain Virat Kohli, legendary leg-spinner Anil Kumble on Tuesday decided against continuing in his post as the head coach of the Indian cricket team.

In a statement posted on his Twitter handle, Kumble said that the partnership with the captain was “untenable”, and also clarified that it was only a day before that he got to know through the BCCI that Kohli had reservations with his ‘style’ and his continual as the head coach.

“I am honoured by the confidence reposed in me by the CAC, in asking me to continue as head coach. The credit for the achievements of the last one year goes to the captain, the entire team, coaching and support staff,” Kumble said. “Post this intimation, 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 have always respected the role boundaries between 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 I therefore believe it is best for me to move on,” he added.

The 46-year-old, who was put in charge last June, went on to add that he brought to the table professionalism, discipline, commitment, honesty, complementary skills and diverse views. He also stated that coaching role for him was like ‘holding a mirror’ to drive self-improvement in the team’s interest.

“Professionalism, discipline, commitment, honesty, complementary skills and diverse views are the key traits I bring to the table. These need to be valued for the partnership to be effective,” he said.

“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 BCCI deem fit,” he added.

Kumble also thanked the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Cricket Advisory Committee (CA) comprising his former teammates Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and V.V.S. Laxman for giving him the opportunity to serve the game.

“Let me reiterate that it has been an absolute privilege to have served as head coach for the last one year. I thank the CAC, BCCI, CoA and all concerned. I also wish to thank the innumerable followers and fans of Indian cricket for their continued support. I will remain a well-wisher of the great cricketing tradition of my country forever,” he signed up.

Kumble’s one year contract expired at the end of the ICC Champions Trophy but he was given the option to travel with the team to the West Indies for the limited overs series beginning on Friday.

While the team left for the Caribbean earlier on Tuesday, Kumble did not accompany the team raising doubts over his continuance as the head coach. Kumble decided to stay back in London for the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) ‘Annual Conference’ as he is the chairman of the Cricket Committee while the Indian team boarded the flight to Barbados.

Earlier, this month amidst reports of a rift between Kumble and Kohli, the BCCI had invited fresh applications for the post of head coach days before the start of Champions Trophy.

Kumble was a direct entry into the coach selection process while the others who applied for the post were Virender Sehwag, Tom Moody, Richard Pybus and Lalchand Rajput among others.

The BCCI had earlier on Tuesday confirmed about Kumble’s withdrawal from the top job and deputed M.V. Sridhar to supervise the team management for the Windies tour.

“The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCC) confirms that Anil Kumble has withdrawn his services from the post of the head coach for the Senior India Men’s team,” the board’s statement read.

“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,” the BCCI statement further said.

Besides Sridhar, the board also announced to continue with the other members of the support staff. “In the interim, the BCCI has deputed M.V. Sridhar, GM — Cricket Operations to supervise the team management for the West Indies tour.”

“Batting coach Sanjay Bangar, and fielding coach R. Sridhar will continue their assignments and assist the Indian Cricket team,” the statement added. Meanwhile, BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary thanked Kumble for his services to the Indian team.

“We wish to place on record our sincere appreciation for the immense contribution by Anil Kumble to the team which enabled India to attain the No.1 Test position. Indian cricket needs his continued contribution in various capacities and wishes him all the best in his future endeavour,” Choudhary added.

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