There Were No Differences Between Virat Kohli And Anil Kumble: Vinod Rai
The media reports in 2017 always showed that the then captain Kohli and then head coach Kumble had differences but Vinod Rai has made it clear that nothing of that sort was brought to his notice.
The former Head of BCCI Committee of Administrators (CoA), Vinod Rai, clears the air on the infamous story between former India captain Virat Kohli and former India head coach Anil Kumble. The media reports in 2017 always showed that the then captain Kohli and then head coach Kumble had differences but Vinod Rai has made it clear that nothing of that sort was brought to his notice.
"This is not correct to say that there were differences between Virat Kohli and Anil Kumble. There were no differences between them. I have only written that when the time came to renew Anil Kumble's contract, we consulted the team and then Virat said that the junior members of the team feel intimidated by Anil Kumble because of his discipline. There was nothing like the difference between Kumble and Kohli. Neither I had any such information nor I have written, " said former BCCI CoA Head Vinod Rai while speaking exclusively to ANI.
Vinod Rai also clarified that the decision of selecting a coach was not his responsibility but it was the job of the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC).
"The board did try to convince Virat Kohli but the selection of coach is done by Cricket's Advisory Committee (CAC). The CAC comprising Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman only selected Anil Kumble as coach earlier. I wrote this thing in the book when CAC was selecting the coach that you people should speak to the team and the coach because we were outsiders. If senior players like Sachin, Sourav and VVS speak to the players then the impact is different and if we speak, then it will not be that effective. So, these three spoke to the captain and the coach, " explained Vinod Rai.
Supreme Court of India appointed former Comptroller and Auditor General of India Vinod Rai to a four-member Committee of Administrators (CoA) in 2017.
"There is no doubt that Kumble was a good coach we could not have got a better coach than Anil Kumble and that is why, Kumble was selected. The only misfortune was that Kumble got a contract for only one year and I just said that CAC also reappointed to select Anil Kumble but the Kumble-Kohli issue had absolutely no issues. Nothing of this sort came to our notice. I have written in the book that this thing came to our notice in April and we took charge on 30th January. So, we did not get the chance to see it in the space of two months, " told Vinod Rai.
The former Comptroller and Auditor General spoke highly about Anil Kumble the coach and called him a dignified man.
"This is totally wrong and you are saying that sources say these things. My book is not based on any source. It is based on my personal knowledge. So, this is totally false. In fact, CAC reselected Anil Kumble to appoint him as a coach and I have written in the book that Kumble is more, dignified and professional. So, he said that even if I would have been recommended by the second time and if in the team, there are a few differences then I will only step aside," said Vinod Rai.
Indian cricket was going through a tough time after the IPL turmoil. In such a situation, the Supreme Court of the country had given the responsibility of handling the responsibility of BCCI to former CAG Vinod Rai.
"We never faced any sort of difficulty we only had one agenda that the game of cricket should go on and the mandate which was given by Supreme Court to convince state association and BCCI to adopt the new constitution," told Vinod Rai.
"Two big things we did on our tenure first we got complete transparency on the board where whatever decision we took we used to post it on the website. The minutes of the CoA meeting are still there on the website and any spending of more than 25 Lakh we used to put on the website. All the BCCI things became player's centric because earlier it never happened that after deciding their compensation package a player was consulted. We consulted the players in October 2017 we consulted them in December and decided their compensation package after consulting them, " added Vinod Rai.
After handling so many issues of BCCI Vinod Rai feels that the BCCI President Sourav Ganguly and Virat Kohli issues which happened recently should have been managed in a better way.
"I have shared my personal experience in this book during my tenure and after that, there is only one thing I have written in this book that BCCI President is a former India captain and a legend and a present captain and if you remember that time that team's mentor was MS Dhoni. So, whenever you change a team's captain then management, coach, mentor and Board President speak among themselves then the transition would have been smooth it has happened twice and if you remember when MS Dhoni handed over the captaincy then he consulted the Board President and when he handed over then both Virat and Dhoni were playing. So, the good thing was one senior player was a former captain and he was guiding the new captain. Dhoni has repeated the same thing in CSK. He handed over the captaincy while he was still playing and that is what should have happened, " said Vinod Rai.
One of the best things CoA managed to do was to convince Rahul Dravid to join National Cricket Academy as the head of cricketing activities as Dravid at that time was busy grooming the India Under-19 cricket team.
"Selecting Rahul Dravid was not a setback but a great thing for us. We tried to select Rahul Dravid for the post of the coach but at that time he was coaching the Under-19 team and he did not want to change. So, he refused that time but two years later when we approached him that NCA's post is in Bengaluru only you don't have to travel outside then he agreed to it and see after three and four years the team has selected Rahul Dravid as a coach, " said Vinod Rai.
Vinod Rai also spoke about the rift and spat between coach Ramesh Powar and Mithali Raj during the ICC Women's T20 World Cup 2018.
"Yes I have written that and Mithali as we all know is a very senior player and she is playing for 20-22 years and she is carrying the responsibility of Women's cricket on her shoulders. But when a senior player is there in the team and the team goes out on a foreign tour then it can happen that a senior player is off-colour or off the form. So, if the team's captain, vice-captain, manager, and coach sit together and discuss that winning combination should play then it is a very good thing. And I have full faith that had Mithali been out of form then she would have opted out herself. But to such a senior player you are said before the toss that you are not playing today then it is wrong, " told Vinod Rai.
"See I spoke to the board officials and that time's CEO and GM of Cricket Operations spoke to both the players and these two players came and spoke to us then we got an idea that there are a lot of differences in the team then we decided that coach needs to be changed," added Vinod Rai.
Vinod Rai is a happy and content man after running the BCCI for 33 months.
"There is nothing as such all the decisions of Supreme Court that we were supposed to take we took it and then only we handed over the charge, " said Vinod Rai.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)