Kumble-Kohli rift: Ex-players react with shock, surprise

Former Indian captain Anil Kumble dropped a bombshell on Tuesday, when he voluntarily resigned from the position of head coach of the Indian cricket team. Kumble’s contract was supposed to get over after ICC Champions Trophy, where India lost in the finals against Pakistan by 180 runs at The Oval. Kumble had said that his position had become ‘untenable’ and he had no choice but to resign. Indian team allegedly were intimidated by the work ethic and approach of Anil Kumble as coach and there was discontent between captain Virat Kohli and Kumble over workings of the team.

Virat Kohli has said that the team respects Anil Kumble as a player and mentioned that sanctity of dressing room should prevail and things discussed inside four walls of dressing room should remain private.

Ex-players reaction on Kumble resigning as head coach:
Sunil Gavaskar, former Indian captain: “I have very little knowledge about the differences between Virat and Anil. But it is a really sad day for Indian cricket.” Gavaskar further added that, “India have won everything since the time Anil took over. I can’t see Anil doing much wrong in one year. Difference happen in any team but see at the results,” he told NDTV
Sourav Ganguly, Former India captain, who played under Kumble: “He has resigned at the last minute, it’s his personal decision. I don’t want to talk on this matter.”

Virender Sehwag, one of the contenders to replace Kumble: “I’ve never played under Kumble – the coach. However, he has been my senior, my captain. In fact my comeback in international cricket was under him. The Indian team’s performance under him has been phenomenal. Whoever comes in as his successor will find it hard to fill in his shoes.”

Bishan Singh Bedi, former Indian captain and slow left arm bowler: “Gratitude has obviously been thrown out of window by whoever raising ‘revolt’ against India’s giant Anil Kumble! Loser’s Indian Cricket of course!”

Dav Whatmore, Former head coach of Bangladesh: “It’s a little bit unusual, isn’t it? From what I understand, there has been a lack of communication between the two. That doesn’t help anyone, neither the team nor the player or the coach. I am not privy to what has happened between Kohli and Kumble but it is unfortunate such a thing has happened and it has been blown up so much in public domain,” told Times of India.

Whatmore further added that “From what I know, Kumble is very a strong individual with a very good work ethic, so is Virat. Kumble is single-minded and Virat was single-minded even when he was captaining the Indian team during his U-19 days. So I guess, it’s a case of like poles repelling each other.”

Erapalli Prasanna, Former Indian spinner: “Why do they require a coach, if the captain is the boss? I don’t think they even need the services of batting or fielding coaches (Sanjay Bangar and R Sridhar),” the former spin great told PTI. Prasanna also said that, “Kohli is undoubtedly a very good player but I do not know whether he is a good captain or not.”

Former players and greats have backed Anil Kumble and have commended his contribution to Indian cricket. The coach-captain saga has not played out well. Indian team is currently in West Indies for a short limited overs tour and would hope that by winning on the field they can put all the negative press behind them.

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