NEW DELHI: The acrimonious exit of India’s cricket coach last year was given a fresh twist yesterday as a leaked email suggested captain Virat Kohli had “frequently” worked behind the scenes against him.
Former coach Anil Kumble quit over a rift with Kohli in June 2017, saying his relationship with the skipper was “untenable”. The Board of Control for Cricket in India has denied any division in the Indian camp.
But in a leaked email seen by AFP, a senior BCCI official wrote to board administrator Vinod Rai that Kohli “frequently sent SMSs to the CEO on which you acted and there was a change in the coach”.
“Mr Kumble a legend in his own right was subjected to loss of face and made to look like a villain,” added senior administrator Diana Edulji.
“He was gracious enough to move on for which I respect him. There also, rules were broken and I had raised objections back then.”
Edulji’s email originated from a separate controversy in the women’s national team, where former coach Ramesh Powar fell out with one-day captain Mithali Raj.
As men’s national team coach, Kumble helped India reclaim the number-one Test ranking and maintained an unblemished record in five Test series.
But he resigned after his one-year term ended with a humiliating defeat to Pakistan in the 50-over Champions Trophy in June 2017, prompting a fallout with Kohli who reportedly didn’t like the coach’s training techniques.
He was replaced by Ravi Shastri. Shastri was always the frontrunner for the job with pundits pointing to his time as India’s team director from 2014-16 and warm relationship with Kohli.
Kohli, currently on tour in Australia, was yet to comment publicly on the leaked email.