Ramachandra Guha, in resignation letter, lashes out at player power in coach-captain rift

Historian Ramachandra Guha is agitated that player power has had a disproportionate influence on the matter, which can result in coach Anil Kumble not getting an extension despite a stellar record in charge, winning five Test series on the bounce.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: June 2, 2017 4:40 pm
Historian Ramachandra Guha was appointed by the Supreme Court as one of the four administrators of BCCI. PTI Photo

The way in which the coach-captain rift has been handled by the Indian cricketing establishment has peeved one of the members of the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Arbitrators (CoA), enough for it to be one of the reasons for him to step down from the panel.

Historian Ramachandra Guha is agitated that player power has had a disproportionate influence on the matter, which can result in coach Anil Kumble not getting an extension despite a stellar record, winning five Test series on the bounce.

“In a system based on justice and merit, the head coach’s term would have been extended. Instead, Kumble was left hanging, and then told that the post would be re-advertised afresh,” Guha writes in his resignation letter to CoA chairman Vinod Raion Friday.

“The Indian team’s record this past season has been excellent; and even if the players garner the bulk of the credit, surely the head coach and his support staff also get some.” Also Read | Exclusive details of Ramachandra Guha’s letter to Vinod Rai on why he quit as BCCI administrator

Guha takes on the prevalent superstar culture in Indian cricket, and without taking names, trains his guns at skipper Virat Kohli and other players in the squad, who have made their disgruntlement known about Kumble’s “overbearing” style of functioning.

The historian believes players should not get to decide who the coach should be, or they may seek a role in the appointment of individuals higher up the BCCI hierarchy. Guha indicated such a scenario is not amenable to the professional running of any enterprise.

“Surely, giving senior players the impression that they may have a veto power over the coach is another example of the superstar culture gone berserk? Such a veto power is not permitted to any other top level professional team in any other sport in any other country,” he said. Full text: Ramachandra Guha’s resignation letter to BCCI Committee of Administrators chief Vinod Rai

“If BCCI mandarins bow down to the superstars who are used to having their way in such matters, they may regret it as Board officials may be next in line. The players may try to get rid of anyone whose views and comments they don’t appreciate, or who stands up to their hegemony.”

Guha alluded to the removal of Harsha Bhogle from the Indian Premier League commentary panel, ostensibly to satisfy certain Team India players peeved at his ‘over-critical’ comments about them.

“Already, in a dismaying departure from international norms, current Indian players enjoy a veto power on who can be members of the commentary team. If it is to be coaches next, then perhaps selectors and office-bearers will follow,” Guha predicted.

The BCCI, while advertising for the coach’s post, said the timing, just before the ICC Champions Trophy, was necessitated as Kumble was coming close to the end of his one-year tenure. But Guha felt the matter could have been dealt with much better.

“In case due process had to be followed since Kumble’s original appointment was only for one year, why was this not done during April and May, when the IPL was on? If indeed the captain and Head Coach were not getting along, why was this not attended to as soon as the Australia series was over in the late March? Why was it left until the last minute, when a major international tournament was imminent, and when the uncertainty would undermine the morale and ability to focus of the captain, and the team?”

While he blamed the BCCI old guard and CEO Rahul Johri for the situation, Guha did not spare the CoA, which, he felt, could have done better to resolve the impasse.

“Clearly, the issue has been handled in an extremely insensitive and unprofessional manner by the BCCI CEO and the BCCI office-bearers, with the COA, by its silence and inaction, unfortunately being complicit in this regard. (Recall that the Court Order of 30 January had expressly mandated us to supervise the management of the BCCI.),” he said.

Ramachandra Guha Resignation Letter to Shri Vinod Rai by The Indian Express on Scribd

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  1. S
    Jun 3, 2017 at 4:35 am
    Cricket is not a sport but entertainment and also often it is fixed. Few countries play it as well thus no great compe ion. Thus wasting the nation’s resources are the highest level of stupidity. We should now concentrate on genuine Olympic sports. Also, indigenous sports like wrest (India has a great tradition in this), etc. must be pushed. In fact mainly due to the dedicated Guru Satpal the Indian wrest team is marching rapidly ahead.
    1. K
      Jun 2, 2017 at 6:03 pm
      This is what has killed Sewagh, Srikanth, Ganguly and many more. kholi and Shastri were responsible for Dhoni Exist . now this kholi is again playing with Kumble. This fellow may be good batsmen but has got zero sportsmanship and respect to others. The stardom has gone to his head and his life in cricket is shor lived or should be thrown out to save Indian team.
      1. T
        Jun 2, 2017 at 9:38 pm
      2. D
        Jun 2, 2017 at 5:48 pm
        It is better for Guha to go, as he was not a player . He got his post because he is a Chamcha of hi-Nehru.
        1. L
          Jun 2, 2017 at 5:21 pm
          Thanks Dr. Guha for exposing this scandal. The BCCI and all these critcketers are the biggest scam in post Independent India. And where is that Viru Sehwag ? Kept his mouth shut on the biggest scam but happily tweeting on patriotism and nationalism. S bags the lot and finally exposed.
          1. R
            Ramakrishna Ogirala
            Jun 2, 2017 at 4:04 pm
            The historian as rightly said that players should not get to decide who the coach should be, or they may seek a role in the appointment of individuals higher up the BCCI hierarchy. He further said such a scenario is not good for running of a any professinal organisation.
            1. K
              Kanu Mistry
              Jun 2, 2017 at 3:23 pm
              The humiliation of Kumble as a coach is so open and clear case and yet no one spoke about it. It is strange. All of a sudden a move is initiated for adverti t for a new coach without even having any dialogue with Anil Kumble. It is pure open case of star power. Presently Virat Kohli is cal shots. Previously it was Sachin Tandulkar who was ru every one. One should ask a question to Virat Kohli, if at all he needs any coach?
              1. D
                Jun 2, 2017 at 5:26 pm
                Once again, a South India versus North India. First Hindi then beef and now BCCI and the coach. Tarun Vijay was right the South should be given freedom from India
              2. S
                Jun 2, 2017 at 2:10 pm
                It is the players who win matches, not bureaucrats!
                1. L
                  Jun 2, 2017 at 5:23 pm
                  Yes and players nicely take money to give away overs and get out when they are told to by the bookies. Cricket in India is a scam. Viru Sehwag any more tweets on patriotism ?
                2. S
                  Jun 2, 2017 at 2:08 pm
                  Ramachadra Guha did not bring world cup to India nor he is the best batsmen in all three formats of world cricket. Thanks to his resignation, some best brains of former cricketers can step into his post. Guha can do his research peacefully.
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