BCCI picks Anil Kumble as Team India's head coach for a year

Kumble's first assignment will be India's four-Test tour of West Indies, which starts from July 21.

Dharamsala: Former India skipper Anil Kumble became Team India’s new Head Coach on Thursday. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) made the announcement on the sidelines of its Annual Conclave in Dharamsala.

The 45-year-old Kumble pipped former Team Director Ravi Shastri, Australians Tom Moody and Stuart Law and a host of others to clinch the high-profile position following an elaborate selection process headed by a three-member Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC).

The committee comprising greats Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman and Sourav Ganguly had interviewed 10 candidates for the job in Kolkata on Tuesday in a marathon session which lasted close to 10 hours.

"BCCI has been very transparent. We fixed a criterion. There was the CAC as well. They have gone through the process, interviewed and recommended few names. After discussions with various stakeholders, we have decided that Anil Kumble will be the head coach of the Indian cricket team for the next one year," BCCI President Anurag Thakur said in a press conference here.

"It is not about Indian or foreign, it is about who is best for the job. I think we have used the services of best players who have served Indian cricket. There was no such limitation that we have to have only an Indian coach. We wanted the best for the Indian team," he added.

Kumble, the highest wicket-taker for India till date and third in the international list behind Muttiah Muralitharan and Shane Warne, emerged as a front-runner in the last few days even though he has no experience in coaching in the international arena.

Thakur said the names of the other support staff will be announced later.

Explaining the decision to appoint Kumble despite his lack of experience as an international coach, Thakur said the former spinner's record itself is a testimony to his worthiness for the job.

The BCCI chief said nonetheless, Kumble's performance would be up for a review after one year.

"He has been a match-winner for India. He has a great record and that speaks for Anil Kumble as far as winning matches for India is concerned. His performance will be reviewed after one year," he said.

Thakur said the decision to appoint Kumble was taken after discussion with all the stakeholders.

"Mr Kumble is a great cricketer. The CAC looked into all applications, they shortlisted a few names. When the names came to us, we discussed with other stakeholders. We take feedback from all stakeholders. We wanted to be more transparent," he said.

Kumble's first assignment will be India's four-Test tour of West Indies, which starts from July 21.

BCCI secretary Ajay Shirke said the decision to keep Kumble's tenure at one year for the time being has been taken to ensure professionalism.

"This is the first time that we have gone through a process starting with advertisements. It has been a large amount of cricketing process. It has been very elaborate. There were marathon meetings. This is a professional appointment and that is the reason we want to be in a position to review our decision. But I hope that we won't need to do that," he explained.

Shirke also dismissed the charge that since Kumble was running a player management firm, his appointment was open to conflict of interest.

"Conflict of interest has become a fashionable word to use. That has been addressed prior to taking this decision," he said.

"We took feedbacks from various sectors since cricket is followed by millions in India. He will take over from the West Indies tour," Thakur said.

On why Shastri was not picked given that he has been with the team for a long time, Thakur merely said, "Our Indian coaches are good. The team's performance improved after the appointment of Ravi Shastri as team director."

Shirke said there were 11 names in the final list including four foreigners.

The BCCI received 57 applications for the post and trimmed it down to 21 before handing over the list to CAC that interviewed the candidates shortlisted by them. Among them were Ravi Shastri, Lalchand Rajput, Pravin Amre, Kumble, Tom Moody, Stuart Law and Andy Moles.

In a glorious international career spanning over 18 years, Kumble played 132 Tests taking 619 wickets at an average of 29.65. He is known for his best figures of 10 for 74 against Pakistan in Delhi in 1999.

Besides being India's highest wicket-taker in Tests and third overall, Kumble had also taken 337 wickets in his 271 one-day internationals.

Kumble led India in 14 Test matches after being appointed as captain in November 2007.

Following his retirement a year later, he took up administrative roles as he was elected as president of the Karnataka State Cricket Association in November 2010.

He served as chairman of the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore and also headed the BCCI's technical committee.

While Anil Kumble, who led India in the past, has no experience to coach a team- one of the BCCI criterion to pick Team India head coach, he mentored Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians in IPL.

"It is preferred that the candidate should be qualified through a certification/assessment program conducted by any of the Full Member countries, and currently possess such a valid certification," read one of various qualifications BCCI was looking for in a coach.

It was reported that Kumble’s two-hour long presentation, where he discussed roadmap for Team India home and abroad across formats, impressed CAC.

Former Team India director Shastri, who was out of country, made his case via video call.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle with agency inputs )
Next Story