Only the BCCI can think of packing off Kumble, a successful coach. But then, is it a move to silence him for demanding pay hike?
One really wonders as to what has really changed in the Board of Control for Cricket in India as far as the game’s administration is concerned. The Supreme Court- appointed Committee of Administrators (COA) raised a lot of hopes but going by the controversy regarding the appointment of a coach for the national side, it looks as though those hopes have been belied. The BCCI, unfortunately, continues to be the Board of Chaos & Confusion in India.
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Leggie Anil Kumble was appointed as the coach of the Indian team for a one-year period. The team won everything there was to. Any sane organization would continue with a coach with those results to show for. But not the BCCI. They had to call for applications and Kumble was also asked to apply for the job all over again. It is sickening to say the least. And the three-member committee to pick the coach are none other than Sachin Tendulkar, Saurav Ganguly and VVS Laxman. Is the BCCI making a fool of them as well?
Calling for applications and screening them when foreigners were involved was in order. John Wright (New Zealand), Greg Chappell (Australia), Gary Kirsten (South Africa), Duncan Fletcher (Zimbabwe) came in and went out from 2000 onwards after brief spells.
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Earlier, former players Ajit Wadekar (1992 to 1996), Sandeep Patil (1996) Madan Lal (1996-1997), Anshuman Gaekwad (1997-99), Kapil Dev (1999-2000) were all appointed as Managers who also did the coaching job. After the foreigners’ terms ended, Ravi Shastri (2015-16) was made the Team Director who also coached the team before Anil Kumble walked in as a full-time coach.
Riding on his success and popularity, Kumble took it upon himself to ask the Board for pay hikes for himself, for captain Virat Kohli and also suggest other measures. Surely, the board must not have liked all that from their own employee, no matter how big. If Sunil Gavaskar and Ravi Shastri, as Commentators, could be put in their places, why not Kumble ?
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There was a controversy already brewing between the BCCI and the International Cricket Council (ICC) and India’s Champions Trophy participation was in doubt. Eventually, the BCCI gave in only to come up against Kumble and his demands. Pay hike for a coach and he himself is seeking it? Pay hike for the captain and support staff? As Cyrus Broacha of CNN-IBN in the programme “The Week That Wasn’t” said on Saturday morning, “Allowance to be paid to pad up, for wearing gloves, abdomen pad allowance and what not”.
In any case, the BCCI must decide, not told to give it. That’s their approach and it has been so for long. How could Kumble ever hope to change it? The ploy to call for applications and ask Kumble to also apply appears to put Kumble in his place. As a freshly appointed coach, he would not dare make any demands. In any case, that clause might come up in the new contract, no matter who gets the job. So, the board is only trying to keep things under their control and not give in to dictates from any one.
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Never change a winning combination, is an age-old sporting adage. Similarly, no one would change a winning coach unless the coach himself wants to quit. The BCCI would end up as a big laughing stock if they would replace Kumble at this point of time.
Given their functioning, they would want to create chaos and confusion out of nothing and yet go back on a decision on expected lines. Kumble will surely get a fresh contract but with something that seals his lips. If not, it will not be the BCCI.
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