Revealed: Shocking Details Of Virat Kohli vs Anil Kumble Fiasco

Last updated:

Virat Kohli vs Anil Kumble: The unceremonious exit of Anil Kumble as India’s coach in 2017 remains one of the worst-handled controversies in Indian cricket. Kumble stepped down as head coach following India’s defeat to Pakistan in the 2017 Champions Trophy final, stating that his partnership with Virat Kohli had become “untenable” and it was “best for me to move on”.

While it was clear that there was a rift between Virat Kohli, who had then become the skipper in all three formats, and the Indian spin-bowling great. Now, former Team India manager Ratnakar Shetty has revealed stunning details of the events leading up to Kumble’s resignation keeping Kohli the centre figure in this controversy.

Ratnakar Shetty revealed in his book On Board: Test.Trial.Triumph. My years in BCCI, the conversation regarding Kumble’s exit had started a few months before the Champions Trophy. Shetty was indeed informed of this by Virender Sehwag who was advised by Maturi Venkat Sridhar, former BCCI General Manager, to apply for the head coach role.

“The events leading up to the resignation of Anil Kumble as coach of the men’s team after the ICC Champions Trophy final in June 2017 showcased the murkiness that had steadily crept into the corridors of the Cricket Centre.

“I happened to meet Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar at the Wankhede Stadium, on the eve of an IPL game between Mumbai Indians and Kings XI Punjab, in the second week of May. I was taken aback when Viru informed me that Dr Sridhar had advised him to apply for the position of the coach of the Indian team,” he wrote.

Revealed: Shocking Details Of Virat Kohli vs Anil Kumble Fiasco

Shetty further revealed that BCCI’s Committee of Administrators (CoA) had held a meeting a day before the IPL final in 2017 where it was shockingly announced that the process of finding the new head coach of the Indian team will be followed soon. That had left Kumble startled.

“I flew to Hyderabad a few days later for the IPL final. The game was preceded by a meeting of the CoA. Anil and Virat Kohli, who by then had become the all-format captain, were to make a presentation on the way forward for Indian cricket, at this meeting. Both Vinod Rai and Diana Edulji (Committee of Administrators) were attending. Anil was present physically, while Virat was to participate virtually.

“Rai then asked me what process had been followed by the Board to appoint a coach for the national team in 2016. What happened next was shocking. Rai said in front of the entire gathering, Anil included, that the same process would have to be repeated soon! Anil was stunned and so was I.”

“I remembered my conversation with Viru in May and told Anil about it. Surely, Dr Sridhar would not have told Viru to apply of his own volition,” he recalled.

Going further into the details, Shetty also revealed that in the meeting that the BCCI members had along with Virat Kohli ahead of the Champions Trophy final, the then skipper wasn’t happy with Anil Kumble “not standing up for the players” and for “creating a tense atmosphere” in the team.

“It was obvious that some people did not want Anil to continue as coach. The captain and coach did not appear to be on the same wavelength and it seemed that the captain had the upper hand. I learnt later about a meeting that took place in London before the final of the Champions Trophy, which we lost to Pakistan. This meeting was attended by Virat Kohli, Anil, Johri, Amitabh Choudhary and Dr Sridhar. Apparently, Virat was not happy with Anil ‘for not standing up for the players and creating a tense atmosphere in the dressing room’, among other things,” he added.

A month after Kumble’s resignation, Ravi Shastri was appointed as the new head coach on a two-year term which was later extended for another two years.