BCCI officials say that Kumble, who quit as chief of National Cricket Academy, wanted the Bangalore-based project to be a centre of excellence rather than a rehab venue for players
Former India skipper Anil Kumble's resignation from the post of the National Cricket Academy (NCA) chairman may have come a surprise to many, but according to sources in the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) it was always on the cards, particularly after his recent difference in opinion regarding the functioning of NCA.
Down and out: Anil Kumble quits NCA. Pic/Mid-day archives
Starting with the conflict of interest issue, the trouble between the board and the legendary spinner intensified when the BCCI recently shot down Kumble's proposal of revamping the NCA. Though he has cited "lack of time" as the reason, Board sources suggest otherwise.
"Being the chairman, Kumble wanted to make the NCA a centre of excellence and not a rehabilitation centre. Initially he approached the Board with a proposal and we had asked him to submit the matter in writing (which he did), but things were not moving from there. He got upset and wanted to relinquish the post," a top board official told MiD DAY yesterday.
Nowadays, injured national team players undergo rehabilitation at the academy under the supervision of BCCI-authorised physiotherapists and trainers. "The BCCI is of the opinion that the coaching system at age-group levels should be decentralised. Also, another committee � Academy Development Committee � that was formed during the last Annual General Meeting in Mumbai has started functioning simultaneously and has reduced the importance of NCA, which was not to Kumble's liking. This has virtually clipped NCA's wings," the board official revealed.
According to him, Kumble's plan to make it a centre of excellence would have diluted the academy's profile, making it a place, where youngsters brush up their skills before going into the next level and also where current national players recuperate.
Besides this, few members in the all-powerful board were also not happy with Kumble's conflicting roles across several bodies. It may be recalled, a couple of months back, Kumble was in the eye of a storm after his direct involvement with sports management firm Tenvic (which he owns) came to the fore.
It was widely felt among the board that the legendary spinner was in a position to influence the selection of his state players, particularly Srinath Aravind and Vinay Kumar, who were contracted with the firm. "This has not gone down well with the BCCI's bosses and a few questions were raised about this," another official said.
It is also learnt that India's highest wicket-taker in Tests had a tough time dealing with 'missiles' from senior board functionaries during the working committee meeting in New Delhi yesterday and immediately offered to quit. The Board accepted his resignation.
For the record, besides being the NCA chief, Kumble is holding three other important offices � mentor of Bangalore Royal Challengers, president of the Karnataka State Cricket Association and director of Tenvic.
Efforts to reach Kumble via phone calls and SMS proved futile.
However, Kumble told ESPN Cricinfo: "I had a three-year vision, a holistic approach for the NCA that was not in alignment with that of the rest of the committee. It didn't make sense to me to just be a figurehead in this kind of a situation. So I thought it was better that somebody else take over."