Mumbai : Former India captain Mohammad Azharuddin defended Anil Kumble’s decision to quit as Indian cricket team’s head coach, saying the legendary leg- spinner took the right call in the interest of his self respect.
Kumble had controversially quit two days after the Champions Trophy final loss against Pakistan in London in June, calling his partnership with captain Virat Kohli “untenable”. He was given an extension for the West Indies tour, but Kumble chose otherwise, marking a closure to his acrimonious episode as the head coach.
“I feel very sad for him. It is sad that something like this happened to Anil. Knowing Anil, I don’t think he is that type of a person. Maybe he thought it is better to be away than losing your self-respect. I think he took the right decision,” Azharuddin said.
The former skipper, who led India in three ODI World Cups -– 1992, 1996 and 1999 – was speaking to reporters at the pre-launch event of 3D mobile game Azhar- the Captain, by Hyderabad based firm BigCode Games. Azharuddin also begs to differ with current head coach Ravi Shastri, who had recently said that Indian teams of past 20 years have not achieved as much as this current lot has. “The Indian team in those days were different to the team now so it is unfair to compare. He (Shastri) was also part of the team in those days so he is also including himself. The bowlers were different, the opposition teams were different so it is difficult to compare between the two eras,” he said.
“I never had a problem with BCCI. Obviously when I got the ban I had to defend myself, that is the only thing other than that there is nothing against the Board,” said Azharuddin, who has been banned for life by the BCCI.