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Kumble’s jumbo leap

Anil Kumble, known for his amazing work ethics during his playing days, on Thursday was named by the BCCI as Team India’s head coach for a year. Kumble will take charge from India’s up­coming four-Test series in the West Indies in July-August.

Kumble, 45, was chosen by the BCCI’s Cricket Advi­sory Committee that includ­ed former captains Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar and veteran batting star WS Laxman. Former BCCI sec­retary and cricketer Sanjay Jagdale was the co-ordina­tor.

The name of the head coach was made by BCCI president Anurag Thak­ur in Dharamsala. “It was a transparent process and we wanted to pick the best af­ter discussing with all stake­holders,” he said.

The post of head coach had fallen with the expiry of Duncan Fletcher’s contract at the end of the 2015 World Cup. Ravi Shastri had run the team as its director since the ODI series in England in Au­gust 2014. Shastri’s contract expired after India bowed out at the semifinal stage of the World T20.

The choice of head coach had boiled down to a high-profile race be­tween Shastri and Kumble, although there were candi­dates like Pravin Amre and Lalchand Rajput. Austra­lians Tom Moody and Stuart Law, both with considerable coaching experience, and Englishman Andy Moles were also in the fray.

Kumble, a proud owner of 619 Test wickets, was re­portedly not in the 21-man shortlist that was given to the advisory committee.

The former skipper, with­out international coaching experience or a coach’s cer­tificate, didn’t make the initial cut after the Board received 57 applications. But the BCCI still left a window for candidates who did not meet all the criteria. The selection panel promptly took advan­tage of that to call Kumble to take over the mantle.

Kumble, having played a lot of cricket with Ganguly, Tendulkar and Laxman, per­sonally presented his case in Kolkata on Tuesday. Shastri did his case through video conferencing.

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