India coach Anil Kumble dismisses conflict of interest claim

New Delhi, June 28: Newly-appointed Indian cricket team coach Anil Kumble has dismissed reports of conflict of interest between his new job and his involvement in a sports firm as well as heading the ICC Cricket Committee.

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The former India captain, who was named for the coveted post last week, has involvement in a company called Tenvic, which is in the business of sports and consulting.

Kumble said all issues have been addressed before signing on the dotted line and he will also continue as Chairman of the ICC Cricket Committee.

"There is absolutely no conflict of interest. All things have been addressed," Kumble said.

"There is the ICC Cricket Committee, for which I will not be able to dedicate as much time. However, I see no reason why I cannot continue as its chairman. There are other national coaches like Darren Lehmann on the committee. (Also part of it are) Andrew Strauss, who is England and Wales Cricket Board director, England Cricket, and Dravid, who is the India A coach," he told 'The Week' in an interview.

He also made it clear that his application for the post of coach was sent before the deadline. "The application was sent well within the time limit. I am surprised at reports of me applying after the deadline surfaced."

Kumble was appointed after he appeared for an interview before the BCCI's Cricket Advisory Committee consisting of his former team-mates Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman and Sourav Ganguly.

Asked what was the basic thrust of his presentation to the CAC, he said, "It was about leading India up to the 2019 ICC World Cup. The roadmap was (put forth). The idea was to get them to look at it, and add value to it. (I wanted to) involve all the stakeholders, including selectors, junior team players and junior team coaches."

He admitted that he felt "a bit strange" while appearing for the interview before his former team-mates.

"I mean, we guys have held so many meetings in the past to discuss the game.... It was a pretty nervous idea, meeting them like this," said the 45-year-old former leg-spinner who is India's highest Test wicket taker.

Not alone

Kumble said as coach his main aim would be to see Indian team excel in all formats and in all conditions.

"To be a consistent team. (We have to) look to win everywhere —- on all surfaces, in all conditions —- and not just at home," he said.

True to his nature, Kumble said he would try to take everybody on board while taking decisions. "I alone will not decide and strive to achieve that; everybody involved must be on the same page, sit down and plan to achieve this goal. The coach's role is to be in the background. It is always players first," he said.

"One needs to achieve a consensus. If the team doesn't buy into the idea, I cannot force things. If the team does not own the idea, it can never feel comfortable implementing it.

"It is great that Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman and Sourav Ganguly, who is also an administrator, are all in the CAC. There is Rahul Dravid, too, who is the India A and under 19 coach. We all are trying to contribute to the game in various ways. We will all have to sit down and do what is needed to take Indian cricket forward," he added.

Asked what prompted his to apply for the job, Kumble said, "Nobody encouraged me, it was just me. I thought it was the right time to get involved, to give back to the game. I have always put my hand up, [and I have been] ready to take on challenges. It was basically a family decision, as my wife had to agree first. She was very supportive."

"Basically, I was taking a break post retirement. I went on a proper holiday with my family after nine years. The question of what next was always on my mind. I saw the BCCI advertisement in the papers and decided to apply for it."


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