Reports of discontent in the Indian team over the coach Anil Kumble's methods are in the "realm of imagination," according to the BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary.
"[A] question was put to me as to whether something is there or not there. I said I'm not even aware of it. These are purely speculation," Choudhary told reporters in Birmingham on Thursday.
With the deadline for applications for the India coaching job having ended on Wednesday, Choudhary said the shortlist of candidates would be out on Thursday evening. The decision on whether Kumble would continue as coach, he said, would be made by the three-member Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) comprising Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman.
ESPNcricinfo had reported that Virat Kohli had expressed reservations about Kumble as coach and communicated the same to the BCCI's office bearers and the Committee of Administrators, after which the board chose to advertise for the position. ESPNcricinfo, however, can confirm that we spoke to several people involved with the process, including those whom Kohli spoke to, and we stand by the report.
Choudhary, however, said no player had complained about Kumble. When asked about the timing of the advertisement for coach - a week before the Champions Trophy began - Choudhary said there was no other free window for the BCCI.
"You can see the full calendar and tell me at what position there was a free slot," he said. "After one tournament, there is another, then another series. It had to be done at some point. This is a process which is well-defined."
By inviting new applications, Choudhary said, the BCCI was adhering to a process. "The appointment made last year was after a process had been gone through, and at the end of that process an appointment was made. The appointment was made for a period. That period is coming to an end, so the BCCI is just following the process. If you don't follow a process, it's not supposed to be good. If you follow a process, it's supposed to be good, isn't it?"
Kohli had said earlier that he did not have a problem with the BCCI inviting applications for the coaching job. "Even the last time the post was up for a change, the same procedure was applied. With the term being one year, the procedure is being followed in the same manner," he said. "I don't see anything very different from what has happened in the past."
Kumble was appointed coach in June 2015 for a one-year term by the previous BCCI administration headed by president Anurag Thakur and secretary Ajay Shirke. India lost only one of their 17 Tests, and won limited-overs series against New Zealand and England, during Kumble's tenure.