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Timeline of the Indian cricket team coaching saga

Neelabhra Roy
SENIOR ANALYST
09 Jun 2017, 09:36 IST
Current India coach Anil Kumble’s contract ends at the conclusion of the Champions Trophy 

After Duncan Fletcher left his position as Team India coach following the 2015 World Cup, Ravi Shastri was made the team director until the 2016 World T20 following which Anil Kumble beat him to become the full-time coach of India, until the 2017 Champions Trophy.

Kumble was selected by the Cricket Advisory Committee of the BCCI that comprised of his former teammates and India legends Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, and VVS Laxman.

Under Kumble, the Indian team won every single series they played except the T20 series against West Indies in the USA. India played 17 Tests under his tutelage and won twelve of them, losing one and drawing the other four. In ODIs, India have won 6 of the 9 ODIs under Kumble.

With the former leg-spinner’s contract nearing its end, there were rumours in March that Kumble would take up a directorial role with the national team and Rahul Dravid, who was the coach of the U-19 and India A team, would replace him as the coach of the Indian cricket team. The new coach would be given a contract till the 2019 World Cup.

However, a few weeks back, BCCI began their search for Kumble’s replacement and this later led to a series of rumours, the first one of them being that there was a rift between Kumble and Kohli and another one being Kumble’s demands that included a 150% hike in the fees of players including separate captaincy fees for Kohli forced BCCI into searching for Kumble’s replacement.

Here is a timeline of the events centring India’s search for a new coach.

25th May: BCCI invited applications for the position of the position of coach, days before the Indian cricket team began their title defence at the 2017 Champions Trophy in England. The final date of submitting the applications was 31st May and Kumble was given a direct entry into the process.

26th May: BCCI announce that they will appoint Kumble’s successor by deploying the same procedure used in appointing the former.

29th May: Reports came in that the Indian players were not happy with Anil Kumble and complained to the CoA about hi’s behaviour which they thought was a little too much to take. The players also complained that there was no freedom in the dressing room because of Kumble’s behaviour and that he did not enjoy cordial relations with the players.

30th May: It was speculated that the feud between Kohli and Kumble began over the non-selection of Kuldeep Yadav in the 3rd Test between India and Australia at Ranchi where Kumble wanted to field Yadav but Kohli was against his decision. In the end, Yadav did not play the game.

31st May: BCCI officials Amitabh Choudhary and MV Sridhar were scheduled to fly to England and meet Kohli and Kumble separately in order to sort out any differences between the two. Few reports also claimed that Kumble had created a WhatsApp group consisting of a few of his friends in the media where he leaked his conversations with the Indian players.

1st June: BCCI named six applicants who threw their name in the hat for the job of the Indian coach. They included Kumble himself, Virender Sehwag, former Australian cricketer Tom Moody, India coach during their 2007 World T20 triumph Lalchand Rajput, former Pakistan coach Richard Pybus, and former India international Dodda Ganesh.

2nd June: Former BCCI secretary Ajay Shirke said that Kohli was not totally on board with the decision to appoint Kumble as the Indian team coach from the beginning and that he had to be convinced by then BCCI president Anurag Thakur.

According to a few sources, Kumble himself was not willing to renew his contract after the Champions Trophy and provided this happened, then his former teammate Virender Sehwag would become the new national coach after the conclusion of the Champions Trophy.

3rd June: Amidst a lot of speculations regarding the Kohli-Kumble spat, Kohli himself confirmed in a press conference he held that there were no differences between Kumble and himself and that the entire team was focused on defending the Champions Trophy.

Meanwhile, former Australian pacer Craig McDermott applied for the job. BCCI also claimed that despite the amount of influence Kohli may have on BCCI, his call on who the coach of the team will be won’t be final until the advisory committee agrees to it.

4th June: BCCI’s Cricket Advisory Committee member VVS Laxman stated that he will stay away from Tom Moody’s interview because of the amount of time the two have spent being a part of Sunrisers Hyderabad’s coaching staff.

7th June: Speculations came in that 10 players from the current Indian team were unhappy with Kumble’s coaching methods. BCCI also dropped a bombshell by stating that the new coach of the Indian team would be selected before the end of the Champions Trophy.

Virat Kohli had voiced his opinion regarding the new coach of the team, stating that he wanted Ravi Shastri to take up the role.

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Also Read: The Indian coaching conundrum, international cricket and the coaching archetypes

8th June: With a lot of questions as to who would succeed Kumble as India’s coach, sources suggested that the Cricket Advisory Committee consisting of Tendulkar, Ganguly, and Laxman would retain Kumble as India’s coach.

A lot of twists and turns have gone on in this Indian coach saga and all questions will be answered within 9-10 days when the Advisory Committee appoint India’s new coach. 

20th June: Kumble resigns after India lose to Pakistan in Champions Trophy final.

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