Kohli: I completely respect Kumble as a cricketer

“What happens in the change room is something that’s very sacred and private to all of us”

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

India captain Virat Kohli has said that he has nothing but respect for everything Anil Kumble achieved during his illustrious career, but he refused to dwell on why the 46-year-old stepped down as head coach on Tuesday.

Kumble’s resignation came just three days before the start of India’s limited overs tour of the West Indies, where they will play five ODIs and a one-off Twenty20 International.

Kumble’s contract as head coach was supposed to come to an end after the Champions Trophy, but he was given a small extension until after the trip to the Caribbean as the BCCI-appointed Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) wanted more time to decide whether to let him continue coaching the national team or replace him with someone else.

However, after Kumble stepped down from the position, the CAC have to decide who will be his successor.

“It’s his opinion, which I respect,” Kohli was quoted as saying by the Indian Express. “I have total respect for him as a cricketer and what he has achieved [for the] nation. All the years that he has played. There’s no taking away that aspect of him at all. And we all respect him totally.”

Kumble revealed that he stepped down due to the fact that “the captain had reservations with my style and about my continuing as head coach”.

He also said that “it was apparent the partnership [with Virat Kohli] was untenable, and I therefore believe it is best for me to move on”.

Kohli, however, refused to talk about these claims, and instead said: “[Kumble’s resignation] is something that has happened right after the [Champions Trophy] tournament. We have created a culture over the last three-four 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.

“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.”

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