BCCI appoints Anil Kumble as the new head coach of India

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BCCI appoints Anil Kumble as the new head coach of India

no photo

Amlan Majumdar


The BCCI has revealed former Indian international Anil Kumble as the new head coach of the Indian cricket team. The 45-year-old beat former Team Director Ravi Shastri to the post, and his first big test at the helm will be India's tour to West Indies for the four-match Test series in July.

After the initial scrutiny last week, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had reduced the list of applicants for the post of Indian national team coach to 21 from 57. The interviews of the eligible candidates were done by the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) of Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, and VVS Laxman along with former BCCI secretary Sanjay Jagdale on June 21 in Kolkata.

BCCI President Anurag Thakur announced the news on Thursday in a press conference at Dharamsala. 

"He (Kumble) has been a match winner of India," board president Anurag Thakur said during the announcement, reported Cricbuzz. "It was not about Indian or foreign coach. It was about who is the best for Indian cricket. We have kept it very transparent. Their presentations... how they can take Indian cricket forward. We have the largest cricket fans in the world. We have the strongest economies. I think Indian cricket deserves the best and we have Kumble with us. His record speaks for himself, as far as winning matches for India is concerned. "

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In his illustrious career, which spanned across 18 years, Kumble has represented India in 132 Tests and 271 ODIs. Jumbo, who is arguably the greatest bowler India have produced, had picked up a combined total of 956 wickets in Tests and ODIs—third highest in the world after Shane Warne and Muttiah Muralitharan—and also holds the record for the most number of wickets in a calendar year by an Indian in the ODIs with 61 wickets in 1996.

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However, the most memorable moment of his career arrived against Pakistan at the Feroz Shah Kotla, when he became the second bowler after Jim Laker to pick up 10 wickets in an innings. The unforgettable celebrations which followed that feat is perhaps only matched by endearing image of him bowling against West Indies with a broken jaw and picking up the wicket of Brian Lara.

The Bengaluru-born former cricketer does not have too much experience in cricket coaching, except mentoring teams like Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians in the IPL. However, he does have a lot of experience in administration, having served as the President of the Karnataka State Cricket Association, and leading the ICC Cricket Committee. It will be interesting to see how he adapts to this new role of his, because history has shown us in the past that not all great players turn into great coaches.

Former Team Director Ravi Shastri, who was one of the frontrunners for the job, missed out at the end to Anil Kumble. Kumble has been given a one-year contract. The decision on batting and bowling coaches will be taken at a later date. Kumble is the first Indian to be appointed full-time India coach since Kapil Dev resigned in September 2000.

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