In what turned out to be one of the biggest ego clashes in Indian cricket, then India coach Anil Kumble stepped down from his position just a day after the team lost in the final of the ICC Champions Trophy to Pakistan after an ongoing rift with captain Virat Kohli. Kumble had tasted enormous success in his role as coach of the team over the past year, but things started to go awry after his equation with captain Virat Kohli hit an all-time low.
There were stories in the media about a complete breakdown of the captain-coach relationship ahead of the global event. While India competed well to reach the finals, the undercurrents were there for everyone to see. The cold vibes between Kohli and Kumble further fuelled speculations of rift and matters came to a head on June 19, 2017 as Kumble stepped down from his position.
Kumble informed the BCCI that he wasn’t willing to continue as India coach after skipper Virat Kohli expressed reservations with his "style" and about him continuing as the head coach.
Cricketnext takes a look at the turn of events since news first came in of the Kohli-Kumble tussle and the circumstances which led to the latter's resignation:
March 25, 2017 – The first signs of conflict rose as Kohli and Kumble allegedly disagreed on the playing XI for the last Test against Australia. Kohli wasn’t playing and Ajinkya Rahane was the acting captain. While Kumble wanted to play chinaman Kuldeep Yadav, Kohli wasn’t too keen on the idea.
May 23, 2017 — Anil Kumble spoke about a pay hike for Kohli as captain in his presentation to the BCCI. Supposedly Kohli did not like the idea and wasn’t happy at being dragged into the money debate by the coach. A BCCI official told Cricketnext that Kohli was keen on cricketers playing in one format to be paid well and not interested in a pay hike for leading the team.
May 25, 2017 — The BCCI sends out an invitation for the coach’s post. Speaking to Cricketnext, acting secretary Amitabh Chaudhary had already said that a call would be taken on Kumble’s position after the Champions Trophy as his contract ended with the showpiece event. The BCCI clarified that it was a mere formality, but news also came in that some officials had forced Virender Sehwag to apply.
May 29, 2017 – News comes in that Virat is not happy with Kumble’s ‘headmaster’ approach. Sources in the BCCI tell Cricketnext that the players are unhappy with Kumble and cannot breathe freely in his presence.
June 1, 2017 — Virender Sehwag, Tom Moody, Richard Pybus, Lalchand Rajput and Dodda Ganesh apply for the post of the Indian team's head coach. Even though Kumble was an automatic inclusion, he still re-applies.
June 2, 2017 - Ramachandra Guha resigns from the SC-appointed Committee of Administrators as he tears into the superstar culture present in Indian cricket. He takes a dig at MS Dhoni, Rahul Dravid and even Sunil Gavaskar. Says episode with Anil Kumble shameful and highly disrespectful.
June 3, 2017 - Virat Kohli denies tussle with Anil Kumble at press conference. Says that stories are being made up. "There are no problems within the team and people are just making things up. There are agreements and disagreements which is basic human nature. There are disagreements in the family as well. You can't agree on everything with everyone. I can't comment on something if I knew there was a problem. For me there is no problem at all," Kohli said before India's opening game in the Champions Trophy against arch-rivals Pakistan.
June 17, 2017 — BCCI's Cricket Advisory Committee comprising of Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman meets Virat Kohli in the presence of BCCI CEO Rahul Johri and general manager MV Sridhar. Kohli has an hour long interaction with them and makes it clear that there is no scope of a truce.
June 20, 2017 — Indian team leaves for West Indies and even though Anil Kumble was booked on the same London-Port of Spain flight, he stays back. BCCI sources say that he stayed back to attend the ICC Annual Conference in London as he is the head of the cricketing committee, but Kumble steps down from his post as Team India head coach. He refuses a two-week extension offered to him by the BCCI.