‘Virat Kohli vs Anil Kumble’ episode is one of the most controversial captain-coach issue in the history of Indian cricket. It was an ugly incident that led to a lot of drama as both the players who were involved-Virat Kohli as captain and Anil Kumble as coach-are legends of the game and it became difficult for fans, pundits and administrators to pick a side.
But, after almost 5 years, Vinod Rai, who headed the Committee of Administrators (CoA), has opened up on the captain-coach rift witnessed in the Indian team in 2017 in his book ‘Not Just a Nightwatchman — My Innings in the BCCI’, has come out and shared what exactly happened and why Anil Kumble had to quit the most prestigious job in Indian cricket.
Vinod Rai has said that Indian cricketers, including Virat Kohli, were unhappy with too much discipline that Anil Kumble demanded from them and the young players felt intimidated.
“In my conversations with the captain and team management, it was conveyed that Kumble was too much of a disciplinarian and hence the team members were not too happy with him. I had spoken to Virat Kohli on the issue and he did mention that the younger members of the team felt intimidated by the way he worked with them,” Rai was quoted as saying in excerpts published by The Indian Express.
Vinod Rai said that their committee had long discussions with Anil Kumble when he returned from the UK after the 2017 Champions Trophy and the former Indian captain was very unhappy with the way things had panned out.
Vinod Rai also said that Anil Kumble felt that he was treated unfairly and the captain and his teammates were given “so much importance over the head coach. He also said that, as a coach, it was his duty to bring discipline and professionalism into the team.
“We had long conversations with Kumble after he had returned from the UK. He was obviously upset about the manner in which the entire episode had panned out. He felt he had been unfairly treated and a captain or team should not be given so much importance. It was the duty of the coach to bring discipline and professionalism into the team and as a senior, his views should have been respected by the players,” he added.