The 45-year-old Kumble, India's highest wicket-taker (3rd in the world) in Tests with 619 scalps and one of the respected voices in the cricket world, got the nod over Ravi Shastri and other 20 candidates.
The new coach's name was announced on Thursday by BCCI president Anurag Thakur at a press conference in Dharamsala after the board's first-ever conclave at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association's (HPCA) Stadium.
Though Kumble does not fulfill BCCI's criteria of wanting the candidate to have coached a first-class or international team or "qualified through certification", he has been selected.
'Jumbo' Kumble's first assignment will be the tour of the Caribbean where India play 4 Tests from next month (July) against the West Indies.
India did not have a Head Coach since Zimbabwean Duncan Fletcher's contract ended after the ICC World Cup 2015 in March last year.
However, Shastri was in-charge of the side as Team Director along with the support staff of Bharat Arun, Sanjay Bangar and R Sridhar. Their contracts ended after the ICC World Twenty20 2016 in April this year.
In the recently concluded limited overs series to Zimbabwe, Bangar was the interim coach.
On June 1, BCCI had advertised for the position of the Head Coach. The deadline to submit applications was June 10. The Indian cricket board received 57 applications from which 21 were shortlisted.
"Post the initial scrutiny of 57 applications for the post of Head coach of the Indian team, 21 applicants were found to meet the primary criteria specified by the BCCI," the board said.
The process of picking India's coach was assigned to the Cricket Advisory Committee of the BCCI. It consisted Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman, all former team-mates of Kumble. Tendulkar, who is out of the country, was available through video conferencing.
The committee, under the coordination of Sanjay Jagdale interviewed the candidates in Kolkata. After this they submitted the report to BCCI.
Kumble, along with Shastri, Lalchand Rajput, Pravin Amre and others (including foreigners) had made their presentations to the panel on June 21 in Kolkata.
It is learnt that Kumble, in his presentation, highlighted how to take India to the number 1 position in all three formats. Test captain Virat Kohli was consulted before the appointment.
Kumble has no previous experience of coaching a team. However, he had been in mentoring roles of Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises - Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Mumbai Indians (MI).
In November last year, the former legspinner resigned as MI's chief mentor.
"I sign off with the obvious satisfaction of moulding a set of brilliant individuals to a high performing unit. Over the 3 years, MI met unprecedented success winning the IPL twice & the Champions League once. Winning both trophies in the same year (2013) being our crowning glory," he had said.
Kumble made his international debut in 1990. He played 132 Tests and 271 One Day Internationals. He is India's highest wicket-taker in both formats with 619 Test and 337 ODI victims. He retired in 2008. In February 2015, he was inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame.
After retirement, he played in IPL for RCB, taking the team to the final in 2009, and was also the president of Karnataka State Cricket Assocation (KSCA) from 2010 to 2013. He was also head of BCCI's Technical Committee and also chairman of National Cricket Academy (NCA). He currently serves as the chairman of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Cricket Committee.
The following were the 9-point criteria announced by BCCI, required to be India coach
1. Should have successfully coached a cricket team of any of the member countries of the ICC, at the first class or at the International level.
2. It is preferred that the candidate should be qualified through a certification/assessment program conducted by any of the full member countries and currently possess such a valid certification.
3. Should be able to prepare and present a coaching plan elaborating the approach for 'Team India' to attain leadership position in all formats of the game.
4. Demonstrate methods/tools to effectively measure individual player performance and present metrics to the Board, which will in turn measure the performance of the team, on a consistent and timely basis.
5. Demonstrate an understanding and ability of employing a multi disciplinary approach that will include sports psychology and sports medicine, and effectively manage the work load of the players, thereby enhancing their contribution to the cause of the team.
6. Communication skills befitting the coach of an International team are mandatory along with the ability to effectively convey the right messages and must demonstrate proficiency in English. The ability to communicate in an Indian language is desirable but by no means mandatory.
7. Should be well versed with the latest technologies/trends in sports software and ability to utilise the same, which will assist in analysing/ improving the performance of the player and the team.
8. Mandatory that the candidate should have an impeccable personal record, devoid of any past or current disputes, with any of the member boards of the ICC or its affiliates.
9. Demonstrate plans and ability to contribute to the NCA Cricket Development Programmes and forecasting/planning to develop the next generation cricketer and agree to make themselves available for the NCA, as and when they are not with the team.