A ghastly fissure ripped through Indian cricket as Anil Kumble quit as the national team’s head coach. Kumble’s exit had seemed inevitable once the Board of Control for Cricket in India called for fresh applications for the post of head coach just as the Men in Blue flew to England for the now-concluded ICC Champions Trophy.

Past perfromance

Skipper Kohli and coach Kumble had seemed to be a perfect match. The duo oversaw five Test series victories against opponents as diverse as the West Indies and Australia, besides winning one-day internationals and Twenty20s. The lone blip was the loss to Pakistan in the Champions Trophy final.

Reason for Kumble resigning

Speculation that something was amiss got stronger when leaks surfaced about the alleged rift between Kohli and Kumble, a rumour that was initially denied by the captain but has become a fact following the coach’s farewell statement, in which he wrote: “It was apparent that the partnership was untenable.” That Kumble resigned despite the Cricket Advisory Committee comprising Sachin Tendulkar, SouravGanguly and V.V.S. Laxman endorsing his extension is a reflection of his inherent dignity. He clearly did not want to be drawn into an unpleasant battle with Kohli.

Superstar culture in Indian Cricket

A difference of opinion between two strong individuals causing a discord is not new to Indian cricket. The latest development also highlights the superstar culture undermining Indian cricket, a point earlier made by the former member of the Committee of Administrators, RamachandraGuha. If Kohli can be a prima donna and demand pliable coaches, it will set a wrong example.

Way forward

The BCCI should ensure that a coach with the right credentials is picked and given a contract that lasts till the 2019 World Cup in England. Kumble got a raw one-year deal. It is a position that demands an extended tenure on the strength of results, not one that can be curtailed by bad blood.

(Adapted from The Hindu)