Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli on Thursday broke his silence two days after after former coach Anil Kumble resigned. It was rumoured that Kumble had quit because of a massive rift with the captain. Kohli did not, however, address the speculation or say what had transpired between him and Kumble.
“Obviously Anil bhai has expressed his views and he’s taken the decision to step out and we will respect that decision,” Kohli said, according to The Indian Express. “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.” He added that he respected Kumble as a cricketer and what he had achieved for the nation. “That’s no taking away that aspect of him at all.”
Kohli was speaking at a press conference ahead of the first one day international against West Indies on Friday.
After Kumble’s resignation, there was much speculation about the divide reported between him and Kohli. The Board of Control for Cricket in India is also said to have asked for a report on what had led to Kumble’s resignation. Kumble had quit right after India lost to Pakistan in the Champion’s Trophy final in England.
Kohli has faced some criticism for allegedly being the reason Kumble quit. Olympic gold medal shooter Abhinav Bindra had tweeted, “My biggest teacher was coach Uwe. I hated him! But stuck with him for 20 years. He always told me things I did not want to hear.#justsaying”.
Here is what Kohli is reported to have said at the press conference on Thursday:
Do you think this situation could have been handled better?
Obviously Anil bhai has expressed his views and he’s taken the decision to step out and we will respect that decision. It’s something that has happened right after the tournament. One thing for sure is that I’ve had 11 press conferences that have happened during the Champions Trophy.
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.
I’ve always respected that and we have continued to maintain that as well. As I said, it’s his opinion which I respect. I have total respect for him as a cricketer and what he’s achieved as a nation. All the years that he’s played. That’s no taking away that aspect of him at all. And we all respect him totally.
In the wake of that did his approach the team’s performance or how it approached a game?
Like I said for me what’s most important is to maintain the sanctity of the dressing-room and what happens in the change-room is something that’s very sacred and private to all of us. And something that I would not express in details in a public scenario. As I said, his point of view is out there and we respect that decision.— The Indian Express