Anil Kumble appointed India head coach
Former India captain Anil Kumble has been appointed coach of the national side for one year, the BCCI announced on Thursday in Dharamsala. His first assignment will be India's four-Test tour of the West Indies.
The appointment of bowling, batting and assistant coaches will be done soon, said board president Anurag Thakur.
Kumble was among 57 candidates who applied for the position advertised by the BCCI earlier this month. He was included in the shortlist of 21 names and then met the cricket advisory committee - consisting of former India players Sourav Ganguly, VVS Laxman and Sachin Tendulkar and the former BCCI secretary Sanjay Jagdale, acting as the committee's chief co-ordinator - in Kolkata for an interview on Tuesday.
Kumble is the first Indian to be appointed full-time India coach since Kapil Dev resigned in September 2000.
"It's not about Indian or foreign coach," Thakur said. "It's about who is the best for Indian cricket. India deserves the best, and I think we have it in Kumble."
Kumble's application for the coach's position came as a surprise to a few in the board, given his lack of experience in the area - he had never coached a side before this appointment but has been a mentor in the IPL, first with Royal Challengers Bangalore and then Mumbai Indians. It is for the same reason that his contract has been kept to one year. BCCI secretary Ajay Shirke said it was to help Kumble acclimatise to the job easier and for the board to have the cushion to reassess their options.
Kumble's lack of experience, however, is made up for by his standing as a player and captain in an 18-year-long international career. He finished as India's highest wicket-taker in Tests, and the third-highest overall, with 619 wickets, including a best of 10 for 74 against Pakistan in Delhi in 1999.
After being appointed Test captain in November 2007, he led India in 14 matches, winning three, losing five and drawing six, until his retirement a year later. Among his notable victories as captain was the Perth Test in January 2008, which was played after the controversial Sydney Test where, among other issues, India faced allegations of racism from the Australian side.
Kumble has also served in administrative roles after his retirement. He was elected president of the Karnataka State Cricket Association in November 2010, served as chairman of the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore and also headed the BCCI's technical committee from 2012 to 2015.