What’s the story?
Former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar described Anil Kumble’s decision to resign as the head coach of the national cricket team as a sad day for Indian cricket.
Speaking to NDTV, Gavaskar came down heavily on reports that suggested that Kumble was ‘overbearing’ and a hard taskmaster. He said, “So you want softies. You want somebody to just tell you, 'ok boys, don't practice today because you guys are not feeling well, ok take a holiday, go shopping'. You want that kind of a person. If somebody is a hard taskmaster and he has got you results like Anil Kumble has got over the last one year.
“Because honestly, what Anil Kumble has achieved for India as a player and what he has achieved for India over the last one year, has been nothing short of phenomenal. So I would rather not have Anil Kumble being maligned or being bad-mouthed as a hard taskmaster or his headmasterly approach for what I have been reading in the papers.”
He did however concede that he was not very much aware of the differences between Virat Kohli and Kumble. “I have very little knowledge about the differences between Virat and Anil. But it is a really sad day for Indian cricket," he said.
In case you didn’t know…
Earlier yesterday, Kumble resigned from his post following weeks of speculation in the media. Over the last one month or so, several reports had claimed of a possible rift between Kohli and Kumble during the India-Australia series.
After news broke out that Kumble had stepped down, the former Indian cricketer issued a letter in which he highlighted the captain’s reservations with his ‘style’ as the reason behind his decision.
The heart of the matter
Gavaskar revealed that he thought Kumble would carry on but then again, there must have been reasons. Kumble is known for being a fighter but Gavaskar was left wondering why he did not stand up this time around.
Gavaskar believes that Kumble’s vast experience as a player and as an administrator needs to be put to good use and also that the CAC should be doing more for Indian cricket than just selecting the national coach.
Team India have already left for their tour to West Indies without a head coach as Kumble did not travel with the team. Gavaskar thinks that India should appoint a new coach to replace Kumble before the team goes to Sri Lanka on their next tour.
The work Kumble has done over the last 12 months is admirable, to say the least. His departure is sure to hurt the Indian team. In the past, whenever there have been such disputes, they have been preceded by poor results. Unfortunately, the board has never been strong enough to resist the star players’ demands and have catered to their whims thereby leaving the best interests of the team in tatters.