NEW DELHI: The BCCI top brass had an inkling that all was not well but was taken aback that Virat Kohli and Anil Kumble were not on talking terms for the “last six months”.
Another point that has come out was that the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC), comprising Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman, also didn’t give the green light to Kumble’s extension.
“There had been reports that the CAC had okayed Kumble’s extension. They had said that Kumble should be retained provided Indies is offering discounts on ticket prices and offer on purchases just to boost the sales.
“Indians, especially Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni, have a large following here,” says Gus Logie, former West Indies cricketer and now a coach. “Their presence will guarantee crowd presence.”
However, the larger worry is if weather will allow a full game. As of now, rain is expected to play spoilsport.
Concerns facing India aren’t as grave as those facing West Indies. Their top players are not playing due to differences with the board and the current lot lies 16 points adrift of No. 8 Sri Lanka in ICC ODI rankings, making it tough for them to qualify as direct entrants (among the top eight) for the 2019 World Cup.
They stooped to a new low, losing to Afghanistan in an ODI this month. The disappointment was palpable as far as New York on the check-in counter of a Caribbean Airliner at JFK Airport. The lady at the desk let it fly. “I don’t want to watch them. I’ll watch Pakistan, India or even England, but not them. Afghanistan! Man, they lost to Afghanistan!!! They just began playin’!!!”
Fans here take pride in West Indies cricket’s glorious past. However, those days are gone.
In the lead-up to this series, a match was organised between West Indies and a Trinidad and Tobago team some days back. However, the game had to be called off because the venue was not of standard and there seemed to have been some miscommunication among the stakeholders. Imagine Cricket West Indies messing up on a warm-up to lift the morale of side after the loss to Afghanistan. all pending issues are resolved,” said a BCCI official.
Post the ICC Champions Trophy final, there were three separate meetings.
In the first, Kumble met the BCCI top brass and members of CAC followed by Kohli meeting them. The most “eventful” meeting was when Kohli and Kumble sat across the table. The talks failed as there was no communication.
“The two had stopped talking since December when the England Test series got over. On Sunday evening after the final, they were made to sit across table and they both agreed that it’s not working out.”