The Board of Control for Cricket India (BCCI) have taken a surprising decision, inviting applications for a new coach of the Indian cricket team. Present coach Anil Kumble's contract has not been extended, but the former Indian leg-spinner will get an automatic entry in the selection process, so there are chances that he might once again be reinstated in his prestigious position.
For those Indian cricket fans, who have always kept a close eye on the off-field activities as well, this application for new coach may not come as a big surprise. There are plenty of things, which have happened in the recent past between BCCI and Kumble, and one can safely say that the Indian board was not too pleased with the coach.
BCCI are a powerful cricket body, and they are one of the main cricket bodies in the world due to the financial power. However, that power has been curtailed by the new revenue model of the ICC.
The Indian board were disappointed with the ICC's stance, and there were threats suggesting that India might skip the Champions Trophy. It began to gain momentum as India did not even announce their squads for the competition when all other teams had done so.
But then considering Champions Trophy is a massive event, Kumble wrote to the BCCI about his players being eager to play in the competition. And that was a BOMBSHELL from the Indian coach as the BCCI are not habituated to someone telling them what to do and what not to.
With the board already on a sticky wicket, the BCCI got more agitated and did not take this from Kumble lightly. From there on, the battle between BCCI and Kumble started. However, as things panned out, the board eventually decided to send the Indian cricket team for the ICC event.
What could also have gone against Kumble is the way he stood for his players and the support staff. He was involved in some important meetings with the BCCI's CoA about the need to hike the salaries of players and support staff. Kumble, reportedly, had also asked for a salary hike for himself as well.
Were his demands too high? Was Kumble demanding too much? Was he unreasonable? Was he becoming a difficult person to handle for the BCCI? Could the BCCI not please Kumble? Such questions do arise into the equation after BCCI's decision to invite new applications for new coach.
One might never be able to understand as to why BCCI invited new people for the post of the Indian cricket team when Kumble has done a great job with the current bunch of cricketers. The likes of Virat Kohli have spoken highly about his coaching credentials in the past as well.
Well, it just could be the case. The BCCI are known for their high-handedness and this could be a ploy to silence Kumble. With BCCI having thrown open applications, the board may just have wanted to tell Kumble, 'see, if we want, we can remove you from your position as well'.
If they would not want Kumble as the coach of the Indian team, the BCCI might not have given him the opportunity to be granted an automatic entry in the selection process for the coach. With such a stance by the BCCI, it is almost a giveaway that they are not really looking for a new coach, but want to teach Kumble a lesson.
Yes, there could be real drama. Just imagine a situation, where Kumble decides bowl a googly and says, 'enough is enough, I do not want to become the coach'.
If that is the case, BCCI may be in thick soup with the lookout of a new coach. Agreed, there will be plenty of candidates for the top position, but with the focus on ICC World Cup 2019, the new coach will have a very small window to work around with and develop a team for the biggest competition in world cricket.