Former Indian skipper Anil Kumble’s exit as the men’s team coach last year took a new twist on Wednesday, 12 December 2018, with a leaked email suggesting captain Virat Kohli had “frequently” worked behind the scenes against the veteran spinner.
Anil Kumble vacated his position as head coach of the Indian team after a rift with Virat Kohli in June 2017. Kumble had then said in his statement that his relationship with the skipper was “untenable”.
However, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had then denied any rift in the Indian camp. Now, in a new development, Diana Edulji, member of the Supreme Court appointed Committee of Administrators, has written to CoA chief Vinod Rai that Kohli “frequently sent SMSs to the CEO on which you acted and there was a change in the coach”.
“Mr Kumble a legend in his own right was subjected to loss of face and made to look like a villain,” added senior administrator Diana Edulji as per media reports. “He was gracious enough to move on for which I respect him. There also, rules were broken and I had raised objections back then.”
Edulji said: “There also I had objected and my dissent is recorded when the timelines were extended for someone to apply as he (Ravi Shastri) didn’t apply in time. Mr. (Anil) Kumble a legend in his own right was subjected to loss of face and made to look like a villain. He was gracious enough to move on for which I respect him. There also, rules were broken and I had raised objections back then.”
Edulji’s email is however regarding a separate controversy in the women’s national team. Former Indian coach Ramesh Powar’s contract was not renewed after a fallout with women’s ODI team skipper Mithali Raj.
Edulji’s statement had come after Women’s T20I skipper Harmanpreet Kaur and her deputy Smriti Mandhana backed Ramesh Powar to continue as the head coach. Edulji went on to say if Virat Kohli could have a say in the selection of men’s team coach, Rai should respect the wishes of Kaur and Mandhana.
“I see nothing wrong in women cricketers writing e-mails regarding the coach. They were truthful in expressing their views unlike Virat who frequently sent sms’ to the CEO (Johri) on which you acted and there was a change in the coach,” Edulji wrote to Rai in the email. “The captain and vice captain have requested their choice so why can’t we respect their choice for New Zealand tour till we get clarity on the committee. We can go ahead and continue with the same coach. The views of the two senior players must not be ignored.”
“Virat did not accede to Kumble continuing inspite of Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) saying, so then why not these two players get what they feel is best for the team.”
The controversy regarding women’s cricket team coach started after Ramesh Powar decided to drop Mithali Raj from the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup semi-finals against England that English team won by eight wickets.
After returning from West Indies, Mithali Raj has claimed that Powar humiliated her during the world tournament.
Mithali Raj went on to accuse COA member Diana Edulji also of trying to destroy her career and for being biased against her. Submitting his report on Mithali’s exclusion, Powar accused the cricketer of threatening to retire midway into the World T20 after being denied the opening slot. He also accused her of creating chaos in the team.