New Delhi: The ongoing tussle between India skipper Virat Kohli and coach Anil Kumble notwithstanding, both the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) comprising of Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman and the SC-appointed Committee of Administrators (COA) seem to be keen on retaining Kumble as the coach of the team till the 2019 World Cup.
While a final call is to be taken soon, the CAC met on Thursday and the BCCI sent a mail which read: “The Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) of the BCCI met today and discussed the process with regard to the selection of the Head coach of the Senior India Men team and it was decided by the CAC to revert to the BCCI, at an appropriate time.”
The CAC members were expected to decide whether interviews need to be conducted or Kumble's contract should be renewed immediately. While the mail clearly hints that the CAC is trying to buy time and hoping for a truce between Kohli and Kumble, a source close to the COA made no bones about the fact that Kumble retaining the job would be the ideal situation considering the performance of the team under the former India skipper.
“In the current scenario, the ideal situation would be a truce between Kohli and Kumble, but if that doesn’t happen, the final call lies with the CAC and the COA has complete faith in the decision-making ability of the trio. BCCI CEO Rahul Johri is also in touch with the CAC and Tendulkar, Ganguly and Laxman will discuss the matter with Johri from time to time. The COA is not directly involved in the process,” he told Cricketnext.
Asked if that means that COA chairman Vinod Rai is not trying to bridge the gap between Kumble and Kohli despite being in London, the source said: “Yes, he is there in London, but if there has been some talks on the sidelines, that is not known. But this is not a part of the COA’s agenda and the CAC and CEO is handling the issue.”
Even the BCCI is a bit wary of the backlash if they remove Kumble because the team has done really well. “It is not the right thing to do when the man has given the performances expected of him. Yes, he hasn’t yet travelled abroad, but his performance at home has been spotless. No doubt the captain leads the team and he needs to be on the same page as the coach, but then again, the coach has done well and there is no doubting that,” a senior BCCI official told Cricketnext.
Reports came in on Thursday that Kohli had asked the CAC to consider former Team Director Ravi Shastri for the job before leaving for England. It was reported that Kohli spoke to both Tendulkar and Laxman before leaving for England on May 23 and he asked them to consider Shastri for the job. Former India Team Director Ravi Shastri though has not applied for the post and the CAC might be forced to ignore Kohli’s plea.
The BCCI sent out invitation for the coach’s post as Kumble’s one-year contract is nearing an end and former India opener Virender Sehwag was literally pushed by the Board to send in his resume and he sent in a two-line CV which spoke about how he was mentor of the KXIP outfit and played with all the boys in the Indian team.
The move stunned the COA and a member told Cricketnext: “Yes it is odd is what I will say, but beyond that I have nothing to say. You should get in touch with CEO Rahul Johri for further update.”
A red-faced BCCI was forced to ask Sehwag to send in a CV as he was applying for the first time. “Sehwag being Sehwag has sent his application in two lines. There was no CV attached to it. We had to ask him to send his CV too along with his application. After all it will be the first time he is set to appear for the interview,” a BCCI official said.
Apart from Kumble and Sehwag, Sunrisers Hyderabad coach Tom Moody, Englishman Richard Pybus, Afghanistan coach Lalchand Rajput and Dodda Ganesh have applied for the job. News also came in that former Australia pacer Craig McDermott had applied for the India coach’s job, but won’t be eligible for the interview as his application came to the BCCI email id after the deadline.