Former India captain Anil Kumble has applied for the India head-coach position advertised by the BCCI recently, ESPNcricinfo understands. The deadlines for the applications closed on June 10, and on Sunday the BCCI announced that a total of 57 applications from both Indian and overseas candidates had been received.
After Ravi Shastri and India’s current chairman of selectors Sandeep Patil, Kumble is the third high-profile applicant for the job, which became vacant after the previous coaching staff’s tenures expired at the end of the 2016 World T20. Although Kumble, 45, has no coaching experience at any level, he has been a mentor in the IPL, initially with Royal Challengers Bangalore – where he was the captain in 2009, when the franchise finished as runners-up – and later with Mumbai Indians.
Kumble applying for the job has come as a total surprise to many in the BCCI, considering his lack of coaching experience. Incidentally, among the various criteria published for the applicants, the BCCI had said that candidates should have coached at the international or first-class level. It was also mentioned that the “preferred candidate should be qualified through a certification/assessment program conducted by any of the Full Member countries, and currently possess such a valid certification.”
Kumble does not tick either of those criteria, but his pedigree as a player is peerless. India’s highest Test wicket-taker with 619 scalps, including a best of 10 for 74, he led India in 14 Test matches with three victories, five defeats and six draws. Among his victories as captain was a win in Perth, which came soon after the controversy of the Sydney Test of 2008, where India faced allegations of racism from Australia.
After retiring, in addition to overseeing his company Tenvic, which mentors athletes, Kumble remained connected with cricket. He is currently the chairman of the ICC cricket committee, which recently met in London. He had also served in various roles in Indian cricket: he was the chairman of the National Cricket Academy when Patil was its director, and also headed the BCCI’s technical committee. Outside the cricket field, one of his biggest achievements was winning the president’s post at the Karnataka State Cricket Association. Not many players in contemporary cricket had gone so swiftly into administration over the past two decades, but Kumble, along with his former Karnataka and India team-mates Rahul Dravid, Javagal Srinath and Venkatesh Prasad proved that players could also be role models as administrators.
The list of 57 applicants for the India coach job will be pruned by Ajay Shirke, the BCCI secretary. The shortlisted names are likely to be passed to an advisory panel, comprising former players, which will trim it further. The final decision on who is the next India coach will be taken by the BCCI top brass, and it is likely the new coach will be announced at the BCCI working committee meeting in Dharamsala on June 25.
Last month Anurag Thakur, after taking over as BCCI president, had indicated that a new coach will be appointed by the time India leave for the Caribbean for a fourth-Test tour in July-August.
ESPN Sports Media Ltd.