India cricket coach Anil Kumble on Tuesday stepped down from his position after a widely-speculated feud with captain Virat Kohli, marking a bitter end to a highly successful tenure.
“The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) confirms that Anil Kumble has withdrawn his services as the post of the Head Coach for the Senior India Men’s team,” said the BCCI in a statement.
“While the Cricket Advisory Committee had endorsed an extension to his tenure as Head Coach, Anil Kumble has decided not to continue as the coach,” read the statement further.
Kumble’s decision comes in the wake of reports claiming rifts between him and Kohli, and just two days after India’s embarrassing loss to Pakistan in the Champions Trophy final.
The news comes after Kumble decided against accompanying the team to West Indies, where they are scheduled to play five ODIs and one T20I, starting 23 June.
The former cricketer was given an option by the Committee of Administrators (COA) chief Vinod Rai to extend his tenure with Team India till the end of the West Indies tour while the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) looks for a new coach. But he opted against the proposal.
The official reason being given for Kumble not travelling with the Team was that he is the chairman of the Cricket Committee, in-charge of taking a call on laws and regulations of the game and needs to attend the ICC Annual Conference, which started on Monday and will continue till June 23.
Kohli had met the BCCI top brass alongwith Kumble in London before leaving for the West Indies on Tuesday. The meeting took place after the CAC communicated to the BCCI that it had failed resolve the differences between Kumble and Kohli.
The BCCI had invited fresh applications for the post of head coach days before the start of Champions Trophy.
Kumble was a direct entry into the coach selection process while the others who applied for the post were Virender Sehwag, Tom Moody, Richard Pybus and Lalchand Rajput among others.
On the sidelines of the Champions Trophy in the UK, the CAC comprising Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman and Sourav Ganguly held meetings with Kumble as well as Kohli to sort out the differences between the duo.
It was being widely perceived in the BCCI that in the meeting between Kohli and CAC, the skipper had made it clear that his relationship with the coach had reached a dead end.
It was only the CAC which had picked Kumble as the coach last year. It has been learnt that the committee will soon have a conference call to decide on Kumble’s successor.
Notably, during the entire Champions Trophy, there was hardly any communication between the two during the practice sessions with Kumble mostly keeping to himself or giving some practice to the bowlers.
The team did well under Kumble in the past 12 months, winning Test series in the West Indies (2-0) before winning at home against New Zealand (3-0), England (4-0), Bangladesh (1- 0) and Australia (2-1).
The team won eight ODIs and lost five during the 46- year-old’s tenure.
Feature image: BCCI