CALCUTTA: That captain Virat Kohli had “reservations” about Anil Kumble’s “style” of functioning and over his “continuing” as the head coach was actually conveyed to him in person.
Not in as many words, of course, but Kohli wasn’t in the least ambiguous, according to well-placed sources of The Telegraph .
Kohli and Kumble had a 45-minute meeting in the presence of the Board of Control for Cricket in India acting secretary, Amitabh Choudhary, CEO Rahul Johri and M.V. Sridhar, a general manager.
That took place at the St James’ Court Hotel on Monday, a day after the Champions Trophy final and a day before Team India’s departure for the West Indies.
Kohli may have done most of the talking.
“Choudhary initiated what was supposed to be a frank discussion between Kohli and Kumble. It was during their conversation that Kohli made it abundantly clear where he stood on a critical issue – Kumble getting a fresh contract, till the 2019 World Cup….
“Obviously, the exchange didn’t go off well and it was apparent to all present that there was no question of even attempting a rapprochement,” one of the well-placed sources said this evening.
Not long afterwards, Kumble decided to withdraw as the head coach, even though he’d been booked on a London-Port of Spain flight not many hours after that meeting at the St James’ Court.
Despite being exempt from the process, Kumble had applied afresh for the head coach’s position. Till Tuesday, Kumble (a former India captain) wasn’t known to back off from any situation.
So, Kumble’s decision has to be termed uncharacteristic.
In a dignified post on his Facebook page, after stepping aside, Kumble mentioned it was only on Monday that he’d been informed by the Board that “the captain had reservations” with his style and his “continuing” as the head coach.
Technically, it was in the presence of Board officials, not by the Board.
That Kumble went to the extent of saying his partnership with Kohli had become “untenable” was, perhaps, influenced by what transpired during their conversation.
The Board, meanwhile, has set a deadline of July 9 for more applications for the head coach’s position.
Virender Sehwag, Tom Moody, Richard Pybus, Lalchand Rajput and Dodda Ganesh won’t have to apply afresh.
Team India will have a head coach in place before the late July to early September tour of Sri Lanka.