Sourav Would Have Thrust Kumble Down Virat’s Throat: Vinod Rai

The fallout between Virat Kohli and Anil Kumble was such that Kumble had to resign from his post.

2 min read
File photo of Virat Kohli (L) and Anil Kumble (R). 

Chief of Committee of Administrators (CoA) Vinod Rai’s tenure ended on Wednesday, 23 October as the elected office-bearers took charge of BCCI.

In the last three years, the Supreme-Court appointed CoA had the job to oversee the functioning of the BCCI and during their tenure they had to go through a difficult period.

The most controversial of which was the fall out between captain Virat Kohli and then India coach Anil Kumble during the Champions Trophy in 2017. The severity of the rift was such that Anil Kumble had to resign from his post. Kumble had decided not to continue as coach despite the BCCI’s Cricket Advisory Committee endorsing an extension to his tenure.

In an interview with Hindustan Times, Rai revealed a lot more detail about what transpired between Kohli and Kumble.

He said that even CAC members Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly were unable to convince Kohli to let Kumble continue.

“I wasn’t equipped to decide, we fell back on CAC. We inherited the CAC, not created it. I had a long chat with Sachin then and Sourav now. I met Sachin in Birmingham during the Champions Trophy – they were meeting Kumble and Virat – and I told Sachin I had a long chat with Virat [when he was in Mumbai and I was in Hyderabad] on telephone. I barely knew Virat then,” Rai told Hindustan Times.

“I told Sachin, ‘I felt he was not willing to accept that Kumble continues. So you people have a word with him. Coming from people of your stature, you may be able to persuade him’,” he added.

“I know Sachin and Sourav spoke to him. Sourav told me recently that they had a long chat with him. If they couldn’t persuade him how could I?”
Vinod Rai, Former CoA Chief

“Look, if there is a difference in the dressing room between captain and coach, who is more dispensable? Obviously, the coach. That’s where we got caught. Dirty linen got washed in public. Ramachandra Guha resigned,” Vinod Rai said.

“If this had happened today, Sourav would have thrust Kumble down Virat’s throat. But it could have created more tensions. I respected Kumble because he walked out,” Rai concluded.

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