By Martin D’Souza | Opening Doorz Editorial | June 22, 2017
No one is greater than the game of cricket and this has been proved by Anil Kumble when he tendered his resignation as India Head Coach two days ago, leaving captain Virat Kohli to board the flight with his team to the West Indies after India was thrashed by Pakistan in the Champions Trophy final.
Mind you, Kumble could have stayed on as coach had he not have the interest of the team at heart. He was given an extension by the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) comprising his former teammates Sachin Tendulkar, V V S Laxman and Saurav Ganguly. But when the Board of Control for Cricket in India informed him on the day he put in his resignation (which prompted him to resign), ‘that the captain had reservations about his style’, Kumble was surprised.
All talk of Virat Kohli and Kumble not getting along well till then was indeed proved to be true. It has also been reported in the media that when Kohli had met the CAC trio, he had apparently told them it is either Kumble or him!
Such arrogance! Imagine negating the contribution of the Head Coach in the success of the last one year. Also imagine putting Kumble, an achiever on the cricket field, in a spot like this!
I remember watching this young boy running up to Kumble time and again during the second season of the IPL. Kumble was the captain of Royal Challengers Bangalore, and Kohli showed his eagerness to be a part of everything on the field, always staying besides Kumble. I knew then this lad had the spark to hit the big time in Indian cricket. His eagerness has now transformed into arrogance!
In the past one year, India’s record in International cricket has been impressive, so where did the rift between the two come from. It is reported that Kohli did not like Kumble’s style of functioning. A coach will be a coach and his job is to get the maximum out of the team and the captain. Who gives our cricket captain so much power to choose a coach? What is the BCCI there for and why are the CAC members mum on Kumble’s resignation?
The least Saurav, Sachin and Laxman could do was to ensure Kumble took back his resignation or, could have stopped him from resigning. After all, they would have known what was transpiring.
Today, Kohli has got his way by getting rid of the coach; tomorrow will he decide on who will be the next BCCI President? Will he also decide who will be on the commentators panel during a match? How has this chit of a lad been allowed to malign Kumble? At last we were seeing cricketers taking interest in administration and things concerning cricket, but that effort is being usurped. Is Kohli alone in this game or is there more to it than meets the eye?
Kohli should remember that no one is greater than the game. Kumble has proved that. He knows that he is not the only one who can coach the team. He also knows that if he is not wanted, there is no point hanging around. He moved on!
The BCCI needs to take an impassive look at the happenings of the past few days and have Kohli stripped of his captaincy and his place in the team, if need be, if only to send the message that no one is greater than the game.
And yes, the game will go on… there are many talented cricketers in this country waiting for their break!
A part of Kumble’s resignation stated: “Professionalism, discipline, commitment, honesty, complementary skills and diverse views are the key traits I bring to the table. These need to be valued for the partnership to be effective. I see the Coach’s role akin to ‘holding a mirror’ to drive self-improvement in the team’s interest. In light of these ‘reservations’ I believe it is best I hand over this responsibility to whomever the CAC and BCCI deem fit.”
So who will be the next coach? Maybe the CAC can appoint Kohli to do the job! That’s what he wants I guess, complete control of the Indian team!