MUMBAI, (Reuters) – Former captain Anil Kumble will be India’s head coach for the next year, the country’s cricket board (BCCI) said yesterday, as they put their faith in the 45-year-old despite his lack of experience.
Kumble, whose only coaching experience has been as mentor of the Mumbai and Bangalore teams in the Indian Premier League Twenty20 tournament, will take over before the team’s tour of the West Indies next month.
“After discussions with various stakeholders we have taken the final call that for next one year Anil Kumble will be the head coach,” BCCI President Anurag Thakur told reporters in Dharamsala.
The coach’s post was vacant since Ravi Shastri’s tenure as the team director ended with India’s semi-final exit at the World Twenty20 tournament on home soil earlier this year.
For the post, the board received 57 applications which were made available to an advisory panel that included former captains Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly and former batsman VVS Laxman.
“It’s not about Indian or foreign coach,” Thakur said. “It’s about who is the best for Indian cricket.
“Their presentations — how they will take Indian cricket forward… India deserves the best, and I think we have it in Anil Kumble.”
BCCI secretary Ajay Shirke said Kumble was handed a one-year contract so the board could review their options for one of world cricket’s most challenging jobs at the end of that time.
Former leg-spinner Kumble, who heads the International Cricket Council’s cricket committee, is India’s most successful bowler and took 619 wickets in 132 tests and 337 from 271 one-day internationals.
After the four-test series in the Caribbean, the India team is set for a bumper season at home when they will be playing 13 test matches, eight ODIs and three T20 internationals.
They start with three tests against New Zealand while England and Australia will play five and four matches respectively. Bangladesh will play a one-off test.
“It’s a great honour and a great responsibility to coach the Indian team,” Kumble told reporters in Bangalore.
“I think it was the right time to be back in the Indian dressing room in a different role.”