PORT OF SPAIN, CMC – Powerhouses India arrived here Tuesday for their limited overs tour against West Indies under a shadow of controversy after Anil Kumble dramatically stepped aside as head coach over a rift with captain Virat Kohli.
Kumble was set to oversee the series in the Caribbean but opted to stand down after it emerged that Kohli had informed the Indian Cricket Board (BCCI) off his reservations with the outstanding former leg-spinner’s style.
While Kumble’s one-year contract was up for renewal and there were other candidates in the race for the positions, the BCCI’s cricket advisory committee had thrown their weight behind the 46-year-old to continue in the job.
But in a statement, Kumble said his relationship with Kohli had become “untenable” and the best option was to step down from the post.
“I was informed for the first time [Monday] by the BCCI that the captain had reservations with my ‘style’ and about my continuing as the head coach,” he said.
“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.”
The BCCI said in light of the developments, Dr. MV Sridhar would “supervise the team management” on the Windies tour with batting coach Sanjay Bangar fielding coach R Sridhar continuing in their respective roles.
Amitabh Choudhary, acting secretary of the BCCI, hailed Kumble’s contribution to the national team’s development.
“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 number one Test position,” Choudhary said.
“Indian cricket needs his continued contribution in various capacities and wishes him all the best in his future endeavour.”
India open their tour with an ODI doubleheader at Queen’s Park Oval in Trinidad starting tomorrow.