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Former India cricketer Bishan Singh Bedi has lambasted the BCCI over their call to invite applications for the post of the head coach of the Indian cricket team. The 67-Test veteran was livid with the decision taken by the cricket board and questioned the timing as well as the need for such a procedure to be put in place.
The incumbent Anil Kumble’s contract expires on June 30 after the completion of the Champions Trophy, and instead of giving the veteran a second term, the board has decided to initiate a fresh election procedure.
“It is very poor. Can anybody challenge, as of now, the way Anil Kumble's contributed? His record has been fantastic, both as a player and as a coach in one year,” a miffed Bedi told Sportskeeda in an exclusive chat.
There are speculations that the board has not taken in good spirit the incumbent coach Anil Kumble’s call for increased wages for all Grade A contracted players as well as for himself.
Kumble had also voiced his opinions, making it clear that the Indian team wants to defend the Champions Trophy it won in 2013 when there were calls for India pulling out of the tournament owing to the fallout from the ICC meeting that saw the BCCI’s revenue share being reduced according to the new revenue model.
Questioning the timing of the decision, Bedi remarked, “What are we trying to do? Why are we indulging in this type of work? This is the worst part of the BCCI's administrative acumen.
“The timing is bloody shallow. They could have done it during the IPL. Why didn't they do it then? Now that the team has landed there, you are to create confusion for no prime reason. This is ridiculous.”
In case you didn’t know...
Anil Kumble’s contract as India coach expires on June 30 post the conclusion of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 and instead of giving the former leg-spinner a second term, the BCCI on Thursday invited fresh applications for the post, just like it had done last year.
However, given the way the Indian team had performed since Kumble took over – losing just one out of the 17 Tests that they played, as well as the winning the ODI series against New Zealand and England – the move did raise speculations over the necessity of holding a fresh selection process.
Also, while a window of seven days was provided for submission of applications for the position – the last date for submission is May 31 – the last time that the coach was selected, in 2016, there was a 19-day window provided for prospective candidates to submit applications.
The Committee of Administrators (CoA), appointed by the Supreme Court of India has been tasked to overlook the proceedings of the BCCI until such time all recommendations of then Lodha Panel are adhered to and there is a process in place to conform to such recommendations.
Lashing out at the BCCI, the left-arm spinner accused the board of having people dance to their whims. ”They don't seem to learn from their errors and blunders. Now India is going to defend the Champions Trophy and you create a cloud of uncertainty for no particular reason.”
Bedi was of the opinion that it should be left to Kumble to decide whether the wants to continue as the coach or not. “I would have thought that it is Kumble's prerogative to decide whether he wants to continue or not.
“Normally, what happens is that the coaches are taken into confidence and asked, ‘will you be interested in carrying on?’ Even if there is a good record or a bad record, the coach or the captain is taken into confidence and here you are dropping a bombshell for no reason.”
It would be interesting to see whether this hullabaloo about the selection of a new coach actually transpires into a new coach being chosen for the team or it turns out to be a mere lip service in order to run through the mills and complete the formalities before re-electing Kumble.
Whatever be the case, this call for re-election has, for sure, put Kumble’s future as India coach in doubt and has emphasized the fact that mere performances don’t get you through the terms, you need to have the support of the men who matter.
Kumble has been an absolute legend of the game and one of the great ambassadors of world cricket. He is also the chairman of the ICC’s Cricket Committee that was instrumental to the new reforms to the DRS calls in T20Is and the umpire’s call being proposed.
His choice to voice his opinions in the team’s favour on several occasions must not be held against him and full respect must be paid to his efforts as the coach of the team as well as a cricket administrator.
Whatever course of action is taken henceforth, it is abundantly clear that there are several reasons why there’s a strong sentiment behind Kumble being retained as the coach.Published 26 May 2017, 17:43 IST