What happened to Anil Kumble was sad, very sad indeed: Sunil Gavaskar

Sunil Gavaskar feels Kumble could have stuck around but the atmosphere in the dressing room was just not right as the team "didn't like his method of operating."

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Published: June 28, 2017 11:05:56 am
Anil Kumble, Sunil Gavaskar, India coach, Virat Kohli, India cricket team, Cricket, Indian Express Anil Kumble resigned as India coach ahead of the team’s tour of West Indies. (Source: File)

Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar is not pleased with the way former India coach Anil Kumble was treated. Gavaskar, in his column for Sportstar Live, writes that Kumble episode will discourage top players to “throw their hat in the ring.”

“What happened to Anil Kumble was sad, very sad indeed. The Indian cricket legend was humiliated to say the least. No top player will want to throw his hat in the ring after what happened to Kumble. It is clear that the Indian players want people who sit back and do nothing rather than go-getters who get results,” Gavaskar wrote.

Gavaskar feels Kumble could have stuck around but the atmosphere in the dressing room was just not right as the team “didn’t like his method of operating.” The situation left the former leg-spinner with no option but to resign and leave with his held high.

“Kumble could have also stuck around, but in an atmosphere where the skipper and maybe others in the team did not like his method of operating it would have been a tense situation every single hour. While Kumble, in his letter, has expressed that he was not aware of the skipper’s feelings about his coaching style until the BCCI informed him, Kohli has chosen not to elaborate. He just said that dressing room matters should be left in the dressing room and not brought in the public domain,” Gavaskar added.

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Gavaskar appreciated Kohli not giving out dressing room details but said the current Indian skipper didn’t have a word to say about Kumble, the coach. Kumble, the player, got a glowing tribute but there was not a single word for the coach.

“Kohli, in his statement to the media, said glowing things about Kumble as a player but nothing about his performance as a coach. So that was a dead give-away: he didn’t want to say much about that aspect,” wrote Gavaskar.

Looking ahead, Gavaskar feels the team doesn’t  need a coach but “someone who can be like the elder brother who the players can relate to and confide in about their problems.”

“Be that as it may, since Kumble has walked away from the job, it is time to leave the past behind and look at the future. Indian cricket is in the cusp of greatness, with a captain who is going to be recognised as one of the best batsmen seen in the game and a team brimming with talent. Frankly, with such talent available, the team doesn’t need a coach. It needs someone who can be like the elder brother who the players can relate to and confide in about their problems and be certain that these will be confidential and addressed sooner than later. The players need a manager who will keep them in check if things get out of hand, especially on overseas tours, and rein them in so that they are always in a position to perform to their best every single day they don the India colours.”

After all the drama, rift rumours and statements, Gavaskar adds it’s important that coach’s job is not dependent on players’ views.

“What the BCCI will be looking to do is to set up a system where there is proper evaluation of the coach’s performance. While it is important to take the players’ point of view, they can’t be dictating who the coach should be. If that is the case, then the coach will make sure that he stays away from disciplining the players so that he can keep his job.

“The coach’s job should never be dependent on the players’ views, for they would always seek coaches who will listen to them rather than the other way around. One of the reasons why legends don’t stay for long as coaches, especially in India, is because the current players become uncomfortable with the attention that the legend gets, while they sometimes get ignored. Thus the leaks to the media about the coach and his methods, which make the coach’s position untenable, as Kumble found out and mentioned in his letter.”

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