Kumble among applicants for India coach job
Former India captain Anil Kumble has applied for the head-coach position advertised by the BCCI, ESPNcricinfo has learned. The deadline for 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, he has been a mentor in the IPL, initially with Royal Challengers Bangalore - where he was captain when the franchise finished runners-up in 2009 - and later with Mumbai Indians.
Kumble applying for the job was a surprise to many in the BCCI, considering his lack of coaching experience. Among the various qualifications asked of the applicants, the BCCI had said candidates should have coached at the international or first-class level. It also mentioned that "it is preferred that the 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 fulfil 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 was captain 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.
Off the 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 sent to an advisory panel comprising former players, which will trim it further. The final decision on who the next India coach is will be taken by the BCCI top brass, and it is likely the new coach will be announced at the board's working committee meeting in Dharamsala on June 25.
Last month Anurag Thakur, after taking over as BCCI president, had indicated that a new coach would be appointed by the time India leave for the Caribbean for a fourth-Test tour in July-August.
*15.30GMT, June 15: The wording of the required qualification quoted here has been changed to reflect the BCCI's list of criteria.