The BCCI has asked the Indian team manager Kapil Malhotra to file his report of the ICC Champions Trophy. Scheduled to return home after the eight-nation tournament in England, Malhotra was asked to travel to the West Indies, following a directive from the CoA.
It is learnt the BCCI CEO Rahul Johri has asked Malhotra to file the report, highlighting the dressing room environment. It’s not known if Malhotra has been given a deadline, what with the BCCI’s Special General Meeting to be held here in June 26. The SGM will be preceded by meetings between the CoA, BCCI and its members on June 25.
While Malhotra’s observations would indicate the tone of relationship that existed between Anil Kumble and Virat Kohli, other players and the support staff. The hard line taken by Kohli against Kumble staying on as Head Coach has raised the topic of the need to create a position of Professional Manager; similar to how Steve Bernard, a first class cricketer, managed the Australian team for many years.
Recently the CoA had overturned BCCI’s decision to name Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association Secretary, Milind Kanmadikar as manager of the team for the West Indies tour. The CoA felt that Malhotra should continue to perform the role of manager in the West Indies too. The CoA also decided that the BCCI should soon invite applications for the post of a long-term professional manager.
A senior executive committee member of the Cricket Club of India , Malhotra has been manager previously when Ravi Shastri was the Team Director and Kohli was captain during the home Test series against South Africa in 2015. But after the ICC World Twenty20 in India, the BCCI named Gujarat’s Anil Patel as manager for the home season. Maharashtra’s Riyaz Bhagwan went to the West Indies as manager last July-August.
The BCCI seems to have not received any report from Patel that conveyed Kohli’s ‘reservations’ against Kumble and his style of functioning.
Malhotra’s report on the goings on in the dressing room and player-coach interaction in the ground and team hotel would be an important document the BCCI, CoA and cricket fans would like to read with interest. News heard on the grapevine is that Kohli and Kumble were hardly on ‘talking terms’ right through the Champions Trophy.
Usually the manager’s report would be mundane to say the least; but would Malhotra have anything to say other than the routine?
Sources who tracked the meeting between the BCCI officials Amitabh Choudhary, Rahul Johri and M. V. Sridhar and Kohli and Kumble at London on Monday evening said: “It was probably very fiery. An unpleasant event that resulted in Kumble making the decisive move saying “enough is enough, it’s time to move on.”
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