A book released by Vinod Rai, who was the former head of BCCI’s Committee of Administrators, portrays former spin legend Anil Kumble to be much of a disciplinarian and players were not happy about it.
The name of the book released was ‘Not Just a Nightwatchman’. The book, published by Roopa Rai, focused on several issues that the Indian team was facing when Anil Kumble was appointed the head coach of the team, which was on a one-year contract starting from 2016
Senior players like Virat Kohli and many other junior players of the time were showing their uneasiness to be intimidated by the coach’s style of functioning. The book explained Anil Kumble as a disciplinarian.
The issue became more controversial when skipper Virat Kohli opened up about the issue and the break-up of his ties with the veteran, who publicly announced his resignation in 2017. Look at the former head of BCCI’s committee of administrators, what he has to say in the book,
“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,”
He further added by saying,
“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.”
The appointment of Kumble was made by the CAC committee, chaired by Sachin Tendulkar, Saurav Ganguly, VVS Laxman, who recommended the name of the veteran to coach the team.
“Soon, the CAC met in London and interacted with the two separately in a bid to resolve the issue. After deliberations over three days, they decided to recommend Kumble’s reappointment as the head coach.”
But if one looks at Kumble’s side of the story, in the book it reveals that he just wanted to bring discipline and professionalism to the game,
“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.”
Despite all this, Anil Kumble wanted an extension in his tenure but was disappointed to know that the BCCI process is above what Kumble is asking for. Kumble was also seen as very upset about the way; much importance was given to a team’s captain that coached himself. Rai even explained to Kumble why can’t he can get an extension, have a look,
“I explained to him that considering the fact that even his earlier selection in 2016 had followed a process, and that his one-year contract had no extension clause, we were bound to follow the process, even for his reappointment. And that is exactly what was done.”
So, overall, the entire episode turned out to be against the former player where we don’t know how much right was, from his point of view but in the current culture and trend that we are living in, players need more room to express themselves, and not listen only what they are told to do, the reason is that the gameplay that we see in IPL today, is not something any coach would have taught somebody but with the change of time has come automatically and players want it that way. Today, players need freedom and are not bound by rules to do whatever they are told to. You yourself think and tell that is it really important for players in their 30s to follow every rule imposed on them.
It is simple, Players need freedom and enough room to express themselves and that of course will showcase through their cricket.