After staying mum for several days over the surprise resignation of Anil Kumble as Team India coach, Indian skipper Virat Kohli on Thursday broke his silence. Addressing a press conference ahead of the first ODI against West Indies on June 23, Kohli talked about Kumble stepping down and why he will restrain himself from going public over the controversial matter. Kohli has said that it is important to maintain the sanctity of the dressing room. “Anil bhai has taken the decision to step out and we respect that decision, ” Kohli said.
Reacting further to the controversy, Kohli said that we have created a culture over the last 3-4 years that whatever happens in the change room, we’ve tried to maintain the sanctity of the change room throughout. That is what the whole team believes in. For us that is paramount,” according to The Indian Express. “I have total respect for him as a cricketer and what he’s achieved,” Kohli said for Kumble.
Earlier, in the day, Virat Kohli had deleted his year-old tweet welcoming Anil Kumble’s appointment as the national cricket team coach, further exposing the bitterness that had crept in. Kohli deleted the post on the microblogging site close on the heels of the spin legend’s decision to resign from his post due to untenable differences with the captain.
Soon after Kumble’s appointment, Kohli had tweeted on June 23 last year, greeting him with a smiley and expressed hopes of a great future under his guidance. “Heartiest welcome to @anilkumble1074 Sir. Look forward to your tenure with us. Great things in store for Indian Cricket with you ??” Kohli had posted on his official twitter handle, which he has deleted now.
Kumble, who was given a one-year tenure, quit from his position as the head coach after the final of the Champions Trophy. According to reports, Kumble and Kohli had a major fallout in the the beginning of the year and were reportedly not on talking terms for the last six months. The situation worsened further after India’s humiliating loss to arch-rivals Pakistan in the Champions Trophy final. Kumble did not travel with the team to the West Indies, and later officially tendered his resignation.