Veteran batsman Rahul Dravid believes that the rift between Virat Kohli and Anil Kumble was an unfortunate thing to happen to Indian cricket at that time.
In June 2016, a month before India’s tour of Caribbean, BCCI appointed Anil Kumble as a full-time coach of Indian team giving him a contract of one year. Kumble’s coaching tenure got off to a great start as India won the test series against West Indies 2-0 beating them at Antigua and St.Lucia.
Then later in India’s grand home season, India won 10 out of 13 tests making it a season to remember. India even made it to Champions Trophy final in 2017, going down to Pakistan in final. All in all Team India enjoyed great success under Kumble’s regime.
After the end of the contract, BCCI decided to invite fresh applications instead of renewing Kumble’s contract. It is reported that the rift between Virat and Kumble caused this.
Talking about the rift between Virat and Kumble, Dravid told to India Today at Bangalore Literature Festival, “At the end of the day, I don’t know the specifics of that particular issue, but it shouldn’t have got played out in the way that it did. I think the whole thing got played out in the media which is very, very unfortunate for Anil and not fair on him at all.
“So, what’s the reality of it and what happens behind closed doors is not something I’m privy to, so I can’t comment directly. But it was definitely an unfortunate episode, especially to someone like Anil who has been an absolute legend of the game, someone who has done more to win Test matches for India than anybody I know. And he had a successful year as coach as well. But the fact is that it should never have played out the way that it did, publicly.”
Dravid himself has coached India’s U-19 team and India ‘A’ and also Rajasthan Royals and Delhi Daredevils in IPL. He added, “See, coaches get sacked. The first thing you know when you stop playing and become a coach is that someday you are going to get sacked,” he said. “That’s the reality.”
“As an India A and Under-19 coach, I know that someday I’m going to get the boot. Some football managers get sacked after two games, so that’s the reality. Players are more powerful than coaches. We know that because we were more powerful than coaches when we played.”
Dravid believes it’s the fans, media, and journalists who make cricketers what they are. They are the ones who glorify the cricketers and even worship the great ones.
“A lot of cricketers come from humble, middle-class backgrounds. At the core of all this, if you remove the hype and hoopla, they are just normal guys who grew up and became heroes,” he said. “They became heroes thanks to people like you [anchors, journalists], television asking for interviews, writing books about them. It’s the game that has made them heroes.
“I read that the players have become too big, but who has made them too big? It’s very easy to say that, and also a lot of other people have become rich by players becoming rich. It’s reality now. It’s the fact of the matter. At the end of the day, cricketers are simple people. But everything gets blown out of proportion for them. So they have to deal with things a certain way.” he summed up.
– by Atharva Apte