Ramachandra Guha questions CoA on Kohli-Kumble row

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Ramachandra Guha questions CoA on Kohli-Kumble row

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SportsCafe Desk

06/02/2017

In a letter addressed to Vinod Rai, Ramachandra Guha, who resigned from CoA yesterday, has launched a scathing attack on the CoA for their cavalier approach to the Kohli-Kumble saga. Guha also added the players enjoyed too much power that had resulted in the superstar culture going berserk.

Despite losing just one international series since his appointment, while leading India to the pinnacle of the Test rankings, the BCCI decided not to renew Anil Kumble's contract and invited fresh applications for the post of the head coach. While the decision was, to put it mildly, a strange one, Guha said that it should have been the responsibility of the Committee of Administrators to jump in and make sure the issue did not get out of hand.

"The way in which the contract of Anil Kumble, the current Head Coach of the senior team, has been handled. The Indian team’s record this past season has been excellent; and even if the players garner the bulk of the credit, surely the Head Coach and his support staff also get some," Guha wrote in his letter. 

"In a system based on justice and merit, the Head Coach’s term would have been extended. Instead, Kumble was left hanging, and then told the post would be re-advertised afresh.

"Clearly, the issue has been handled in an extremely insensitive and unprofessional manner by the BCCI CEO and the BCCI office-bearers, with the COA, by its silence and inaction, unfortunately being complicit in this regard. (Recall that the Court Order of 30 January had expressly mandated us to supervise the management of BCCI.)" 

In a very balanced argument, Guha went on to question why the hiring process for the head coach was not started after the Border-Gavaskar series or while the two-month long IPL was still going on. The issue came to light when India had started preparing for the defence of the Champions Trophy, that they had won in 2013.

"In case due process had to be followed since Kumble’s original appointment was only for one year, why was this not done during April and May, when the IPL was on?" Guha added.

"If indeed the captain and the Head Coach were not getting along, why was not this attended to as soon as the Australia series was over in late March? Why was it left until the last minutes, when a major international tournament was imminent, and when the uncertainty would undermine the morale and ability to focus of the coach, the captain and the team."

The entire issue seems to be spiralling out of control with Kohli and Kumble being caught in a cold war of sorts just before India get their tournament started. Even though the BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary has claimed that the tensions are "pure speculations", the ground reality appears to be very different. Guha went on to question the amount of power the players had at their disposal that they were able to relieve the coach of his position.

"And surely giving senior players the impression that they may have a veto power over the coach is another example of superstar culture gone berserk? Such a veto power is not permitted to any other top level professional team in any other sport in any other country. Already, in a dismaying departure from international norms, current Indian players enjoy a veto power on who can be the members of the commentary team. If it is to be coaches next, then perhaps the selectors and even office-bearers will follow?"

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