Ravi Shastri’s appointment as Team India head coach on Tuesday (July 11) ended the drama and speculations that were doing the rounds since the buildup of the Champions Trophy which was marred by an alleged rift between the then coach Anil Kumble and skipper Virat Kohli.
And although the rumours were dismissed by Kohli at that point of time, the whole matter became clear when Kumble stepped down from his post after the tournament, citing Kohli’s reservations over his style of functioning.
The one month of unrest in Indian cricket, nevertheless, ended with the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) picking Shastri ahead of Virender Sehwag, Richard Pybus, Lalchand Rajput and Tom Moody. The board, meanwhile, also appointed former India captain Rahul Dravid and Zaheer Khan as batting and bowling consultants, respectively.
And now that the whole episode has ended, here is a look at how the events unfolded:
With Anil Kumble enjoying a very successful one-year tenure, where Virat Kohli & Co. registered Test series win against West Indies, New Zealand, England, Bangladesh and Australia in addition to limited-series wins over New Zealand and England, speculations were rife that the coach would get a direct extension after his contract expiry.
However, the BCCI surprised one and all by inviting applications for the post.
Reports of the rift between Kohli and coach surfaced for the first time. Reports claimed that the players especially the skipper was unhappy with Kumble’s dominating attitude in the dressing room.
Virender Sehwag, Tom Moody, Richard Pybus, Lalchand Rajput and Dodda Ganesh applied for the post while Kumble also reapplied.
Ramachandra Guha, one of the members of Committee of Administrators, resigns from the four-member panel, making his displeasure known about the way Kumble was getting treated. He also questioned MS Dhoni’s Grade A contract and accused Rahul Dravid and Sunil Gavaskar of conflict-of-interest.
In the pre-match conference before the tournament-opener against Pakistan, Kohli denied all the reports of the rift and calmed things down by stating that those were just speculations by people who were not even part of the dressing room.
CoA head Vinod Rai confirmed Kumble would remain Team India’s coach at least for the West Indies series.
The Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) meets Kohli and decides that the issue should be further dealt with after the Champions Trophy.
The Men in Blue left for West Indies without Kumble, who stayed back in London to attend the ICC meeting and was supposed to join the team later. However, the former India skipper after few hours stepped down from his post with reports also suggesting that he declined to extend his contract even after receiving the offer from CAC.
With Kumble out of the race for coach’s post, BCCI invites fresh applications for the post.
Ravi Shastri, who was pipped by Kumble for the post last year, formally applied for the post.
Former Ireland and West Indies coach Phil Simmons formally submits his application to the BCCI.
The BCCI trims down the list of ten candidates to six with Sehwag, Pybus, Rajput, Shastri, Simmons and Moody getting the call for the interview by the CAC comprising Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman.
The interview gets over by evening in the BCCI headquarters and the CAC was expected to reveal their decision. However, the three-member panel deferred the decision to an unconfirmed date, citing their willingness to seek Kohli’s inputs before taking the final call.
Reports emerged that Vinod Rai had asked the BCCI officials not to delay the process and appoint the new coach on Tuesday.
Shastri was the favourite to get the job and several news outlets confirmed that the former team director has replaced Kumble. However, BCCI denied the reports.
The drama came to an end on Tuesday night when the board confirmed Shastri’s appointment as head coach along with Dravid and Zaheer as batting and bowling consultants, respectively.
“The BCCI announces the appointment of Mr Ravi Shastri as the Head Coach, Mr Zaheer Khan as the Bowling Consultant and Mr Rahul Dravid who will be the Overseas Batting Consultant (Test cricket) for the Indian Cricket Team,” the BCCI confirmed in a media release.