Anil Kumble revealed as one of the prime contenders for India cricket coach role
Indian bowling legend Anil Kumble had filed his nomination for the vacant post of India’s cricket coach, Wisden India revealed on Monday, citing sources with the Board of Control of Cricket in India.
India’s exit at the semi-final stage of the 2016 World T20 against eventual champions West Indies had meant the expiry of contracts of India team director Ravi Shastri, batting coach Sanjay Bangar, bowling coach B Arun and fielding coach R Sridhar, who had comprised India's coaching staff since the ODI series in England in 2014.
Following this, the BCCI had posted an advertisement on its official website on June 1 inviting applications from prospective candidates for the position of head coach, starting with India’s tour to the West Indies in July. The board had revealed that 57 applications had been received by the board and though no names were officially revealed, it is now reliably learnt that Kumble was one among them.
The former leg-spinner has been actively involved in cricketing affairs ever since his retirement from international cricket in 2008. He kept playing in the IPL for his home franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore until 2012, following which he took up a role as one of the mentors of the side. He later assumed a similar position with the Mumbai Indians franchise before quitting the post in 2015 owing to bigger international commitments.
Nicknamed ‘Jumbo’, Kumble also served as the president of the Karnataka State Cricket Association between 2010 and 2013 and was also the chairman of the BCCI’s technical committee until last September. He is currently in his second term as the chairman of the International Cricket Council’s Cricket Committee.
The first stipulation that the BCCI had stated in its advertisement for potential candidates was that "(He) should have successfully coached a cricket team of any of the member countries of the ICC, at the first class or at the international level.” Though Kumble doesn’t meet the above criteria fully being a mentor rather than a coach, the 45-year-old’s stature both on and off the field can hardly be matched.
By far India’s leading wicket-taker in Test cricket, Kumble’s records speak for itself. He commands respect from his peers and was seen as someone who played the game with integrity, discipline and utmost honesty.
The applications, which include the likes of Ravi Shastri, Sandeep Patil, Venkatesh Prasad, Robin Singh and Pravin Amre among others, is currently being scrutinised by the office of Ajay Shirke, the BCCI secretary. The list of short-listed candidates will then be handed to the board for further consideration before a final call is made on one of the most coveted as well as demanding jobs in world cricket.