Newly-appointed Team India head coach Anil Kumble thanked the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) for showing faith in him. Kumble, who led India in 14 Test matches, was selected by the CAC comprising his former teammates Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and V.V.S. Laxman, who interviewed 21 shortlisted candidates out of a total of 57 applicants.
Shortly after BCCI President Anurag Thakur pronounced his name as the next head coach for a year, a jubiliant Kumble said it is time to give back to the game.
“I am thankful to BCCI and cricket advisory committee for showing faith in me. It’s a huge responsibility and great honour to be coach of Indian cricket team,” Kumble told reporters.
“It’s time to give back to Indian cricket. It’s a great honour to be again back in the Indian dressing room and in a different role.”
Kumble, who is best remembered for his 10 wickets in an innings during the second Test against Pakistan at the Ferozshah Kotla Stadium here in 1999, said his strategy will be to win games.
“It’s a huge responsibility, ready to take this role. Coaches come later, it’s always players first. Strategy will be to win,” he said.
On being asked about his first assignment with the team — the four-match Test tour to the West Indies, the legendary leg-spinner said: “Have a short and long plan for the upcoming series, but I can not plan alone… I need players to pitch in.”
“It is too early to speak about plans. Strategy is to win against the West Indies. I havn’t yet spoken to players.”
With 619 Test scalps, the 45-year-old is the highest Indian and third highest after Muttiah Muratharan and Shane Warne in the all-time wicket-takers list.
Kumble, who spearheaded the Indian bowling attack for more than a decade, mentored Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and was also the chairman of the National Cricket Academy (NCA)and BCCI’s Technical Committee.
India is set to host 13 Test matches, eight One Day Internationals (ODI) and three T20 Internationals during the 2016-17 season and Kumble’s major task will be to guide the team in clinching the top rank in all three formats.