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Vinod Rai’s Book reveals Kohli Kumble Dispute

Dispute between – Indian Captain Virat Kohli and coach Anil Kumble

Kohli and Kumble - Dispute

There was an upheaval in Indian cricket five years ago owing to a dispute between Kohli and Kumble. The situation had deteriorated to the point where Kumble had to resign. 

Now, in regards to this controversy, former CAG Vinod Rai has made a major revelation in a book. Rai was appointed head of the Committee of Administrators (CoA) by the Supreme Court in 2017 after the CoA had been in charge of Indian cricket for nearly three years.

In his book ‘Not Just a Nightwatchman: My Innings in the BCCI,‘ former CAG Vinod Rai discusses Virat Kohli’s friendship with Anil Kumble. The cricket administrators’ committee, according to the former IAS officer, was also worried by the Kohli and Kumble dispute.

“In my interactions with the captain and team management, it was pointed out that Kumble was very harsh in terms of discipline, and so the squad members were not very happy with him,” former COA Vinod Rai stated in his book. 

When I asked Virat Kohli about this his best interests in mind, he indicated that the younger members of the team were terrified of the way coach Kumble worked. Kumble, on the other side, informed the CoA that he worked with the team’s best interests in mind. 

He said that his successful record as head coach should be given precedence over purported player complaints.

Kumble was enraged at the disagreement.

In his book, the former COA mentions a lengthy talk he had with Kumble following the 2017 Champions Trophy. “The Committee of Cricket Administrators had a long talk with Kumble after his return from Britain,” he stated. 

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Kumble was displeased with how the situation had been brought to light. He thought he had been treated unfairly and that a captain or team should not be given such prominence. 

It was the coach’s job to instil discipline and professionalism in the team, and as older players, we should have respected their opinions.”

The BCCI’s Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC), included Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar, and VVS Laxman. All spoke to Kohli and Kumble at the Champions Trophy in England in June 2017, according to the book. During this time, there was also talk concerning Team India’s new head coach.

The decision was taken to make Kumble the coach again.

The book reveals that the then CEO Rahul Johri and acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary also had talks with both the parties regarding Kohli-Kumble. Both of them felt that the differences were serious. 

The Cricket Advisory Committee was the best suited to talk to Kumble and Virat on the controversy. After this, the CAC had separate talks with Kohli and Kumble in London. After talks that lasted for 3 days, they decided to recommend Kumble to be re-appointed as the head coach. 

But, after taking a big decision, Kumble resigned from his post. According to former COA Vinod Rai, this decision was no less than a setback for him too.

“I had got information from the BCCI that the captain had problems with my coaching approach,” Kumble stated in his resignation letter, according to the book. It took me by surprise. Because I had always acknowledged the distinctions between the captain’s and coach’s roles.

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