Rahul Dravid feels that portrayal of the resignation of Anil Kumble by the media was unfair and he called the entire ruckus an unfortunate episode. Also, Dravid stated that players are more powerful and have more influence than the coaches.
The former India captain and current coach of the India A and India Under-19 teams, Rahul Dravid, despite being a high-profile personality in the cricket system, came forward and criticised the way in which Anil Kumble was removed from the position of the coach.
When asked whether the players had become so big that they could decide who would coach them in India by Rajdeep Sardesai at the Bangalore Literature Festival, Dravid tried to disguise his thoughts at first, however, when the question was imposed, he backed his team-mate, cautiously not pointing a finger towards Virat Kohli, who is widely believed to be behind Kumble's removal as India coach.
"What's the answer? At the end of the day, I don't know the specifics of that particular issue, but it shouldn't have got played out in the way that it did. I think the whole thing got played out in the media which is very, very unfortunate for Anil and not fair on him at all. So, what's the reality of it and what happens behind closed doors is not something I'm privy to, so I can't comment directly. But it was definitely an unfortunate episode, especially to someone like Anil who has been an absolute legend of the game, someone who has done more to win Test matches for India than anybody I know. And he had a successful year as coach as well. But the fact is that it should never have played out they way that it did, publicly," Cricbuzz quoted Dravid saying.
Having said this, Dravid subtly agreed that the outcome of any conflict between the players and the coach will be similar.
"See, coaches get sacked, the first thing you know when you stop playing and become a coach is that some day you are going to get sacked. That's the reality. As an India A and Under-19 coach, I know that someday I'm going to get the boot. Some football managers get sacked after two games, so that's the reality. Players are more powerful than coaches, we know that because we were more powerful than coaches when we played."
Moreover, he was also asked whether Mahendra Singh Dhoni should retire from Twenty20 cricket, Dravid responded with wit, and entertained the audience with his humor.
"Don't be critical of just Virat and Dhoni. Even Ashish Nehra is getting to decide when he will retire," said Dravid as the swelling audience cheered in delight. "That's being unfair to Virat and Dhoni."
Dravid also talked about how most of the players come from middle class backgrounds and media, among other factors, plays a role in giving them "powerful" or "larger than life" status.
"A lot of cricketers come from humble, middle-class backgrounds. At the core of all this, if you remove the hype and hoopla, they are just normal guys who grew up and became heroes. They became heroes thanks to people like you [TV anchors, journalists], television asking for interviews, writing books about them... It's the game that has made them heroes."
"I read that the players have become too big, but who has made them too big? It's very easy to say that, and also a lot of other people have become rich by players becoming rich. It's reality now. It's the fact of the matter. At the end of the day, cricketers are simple people. But everything gets blown out of proportion for them. So they have to deal with things a certain way."
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