Virat Kohli had questions on Anil Kumble’s appointment, says ex-BCCI Secretary Ajay Shirke

The BCCI eventually persuaded Indian captain Virat Kohli to accept the choice made by its Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) but gave Anil Kumble a one-year contract.

Written by Shamik Chakrabarty | Pune | Updated: June 2, 2017 8:51 am
virat kohli, anil kumble, icc champions trophy Anil Kumble’s tenure as India coach ends with the ICC Champions Trophy. (Source: Express File)

Former BCCI secretary Ajay Shirke Thursday indicated that captain Virat Kohli was opposed to Anil Kumble’s appointment as the head coach from the very beginning. The BCCI eventually persuaded him to accept the choice made by its Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) but gave Kumble a one-year contract.

Shirke, who was part of the coach selection process last year,  told The Indian Express: “There had been some murmurs about this (Kumble-Kohli rift) even at the time of Mr Kumble’s appointment. At that time, our president (Anurag Thakur) had taken the initiative and had a detailed discussion with both parties, and it was decided that since the cricket committee (CAC) had recommended Mr Kumble as the best option, we should go ahead with that. Therefore, I think the real reason for a one-year contract was that we would work and evolve, and see how this went, so as to keep the options open at a future date.”

“Let us say he (Kohli) had his own views about it. And like I said, our president, Mr Thakur, took the initiative and told him that this was the unanimous choice of the cricket committee and we would have to abide by their recommendation and Kohli should accept it,” Shirke said.

The CAC comprising Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman preferred Kumble over Ravi Shastri, who had served as the team director for close to two years.

Kumble did not meet the BCCI-specified criteria of coaching experience at the international level and had been excluded from the initial 21-member shortlist. He was included on the insistence of the CAC.

Shirke, however, said that Kumble had called him and “expressed his desire to coach India” after he became the BCCI secretary. This was before the coach-selection process had been initiated.

“He (Kumble) did explain to me that he was extremely passionate about cricket and winning and so on, and he would like to take over that position. I made it clear to him that the appointment wouldn’t be based on anybody’s recommendation, that we have a process for it, and he should follow the process.”

Shirke supported the BCCI’s decision to issue the notification for the coach’s appointment ahead of the Champions Trophy because Kumble’s term was ending. At the same time, he said the appointment of the coach should be the BCCI’s prerogative. “The captain may have a say in it, may have a view on it, but that view — it’s after all an individual view, although the captain is a very important part of the team — shouldn’t override the committee’s choice.”

Days after being appointed as India coach, Kumble had sought an audience with Shirke. Kohli, too, was present at that meeting. Asked what transpired, Shirke said: “Since it was a closed door meeting, it should remain a closed door meeting, because it’s not proper for me to speak.”

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  1. S
    Jun 3, 2017 at 10:58 am
    kohli wd realise his mistake after a few days, just when indian bowlers start looking threating in world cricket he made a b er, india cd have won many series n trophies under kohli n kumble combo.there were all d sign that indian cricket cd scale new heights under this combo.i guess its not only kohli alone, somebody else is stoking the fire. what I hv realized ravi shastri is a big sychophant,believes in showmanship,too greedy for power corridor,the man who does not recognise mr. gangulys contribution in indian cricket ,wd not spare you also.Mr Kohli wake up, before its getting too late,KARMA never leaves anyone.
    1. A
      Jun 2, 2017 at 7:56 pm
      Virat Kohli represents the classical upper caste North Indian arrogance.
      1. s
        Jun 2, 2017 at 6:52 pm
        GOOD THAT KUMBLE IS RESIGNING AT A TIME WHEN THERE IS NO RESPECT. GREAT GURU BUT ROGUE DISCIPLE. The head long kohli and probably even shastri behind all this for their vested ambition? What is management doing? cut their tile and put them in the place, where they restrict them to play for India rather play with sober people. Nothing that kumble losing. new cricketers will lose his expertise. On the other hand mischievous people will intrude in the ugly scenes. Why now court is silent?
        1. S
          Shivakumar GN
          Jun 2, 2017 at 1:09 pm
          When a well performing coach's term is not renewed, instead a fresh adverti t is issued, chances are that specific coach will NOT apply ! BCCI should have renewed the contract with Kumble...
          1. M
            M M
            Jun 2, 2017 at 12:18 pm
            coach should be appointed irrespective of captains view. after all, coach is supposed to train the team and make strategy in consultation with team management
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