CoA asks Kumble to continue till Windies tour

Anil Kumble will remain India's coach for the tour of West Indies subject to his acceptance, Committee of Administrators (CoA) chairman Vinod Rai said.

Anil Kumble may continue as India coach for the West Indies tour if he wishes to do so.   -  REUTERS

The Committee of Administrators (CoA) on Monday asked Anil Kumble to continue as coach of the Indian team for the forthcoming one-day series in the West Indies. The offer, however, is subject to Kumble accepting the position since he has been told to apply afresh for the job. His contract expires on June 30.

India is scheduled to play five one-day matches in the West Indies, starting June 23, following the Champions Trophy, which culminates on June 18.

India, the defending champion, has secured a semi-final slot in the Champions Trophy.

According to the CoA, it has conveyed the offer to Kumble. The CoA chairman Vinod Rai told The Hindu, “We would like Kumble to continue as coach for the West Indies tour. It depends on his acceptance.”

Kumble, in recent times, has been subjected to criticism on his alleged rift with skipper Virat Kohli. Both the individuals have maintained a dignified silence on the subject that has attracted the attention of the cricket fraternity.

“I have not noticed any rift,” emphasised Rai, who was in England on a private visit and used the opportunity to interact with Kumble and Kohli.

Selective leaks in the media have painted a grim picture of the Indian dressing room with reports targeting Kumble, who has caused discomfort to the Board’s office-bearers with his presentation to the CoA prior to the team’s departure for the Champions Trophy. Kumble had recommended increased payment to the support staff and the players apart from a 25 percent special hike for Kohli because he performs extra duties as a captain.

Even as the CoA and the Board officials keep their fingers crossed, observers believe the possibility of Kumble opting out of the short-term offer. Being asked to send in a fresh application for the coach’s job, on a technicality, has left Kumble disappointed.

As a coach, Kumble has delivered by working with the young side to win the away series against the West Indies apart from beating New Zealand, England, Bangladesh and Australia at home. A title win at Champions Trophy would be an icing on the cake for the leg-spinner, who is acknowledged as a living legend by experts of the game.

Should Kumble decide to take a break from the West Indies, a senior Board official observed that assistant coach Sanjay Bangar may be asked to take over the responsibility.

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