New Delhi: Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had appointed ex-India spinner Anil Kumble as the head coach of Team India in place of Ravi Shastri.
BCCI’s move was quite shocking for the fans and Ravi Shastri. The ex-India player was then already working with the national team as ‘team director’ and had helped Men in Blue attain some remarkable achievements.
Shastri was in the running to become team India’s head coach in 2016. However, the BCCI did not appoint Shastri as the head coach and Anil Kumble was handed the job.
Now, in an exclusive interview with Times of India (TOI), Shastri said that the way he was removed was not right and it hurt him.
“There was this bolt from the blue. In less than two years after I was asked set aside my broadcast career, leave everything else and join the team, I suddenly found myself out for no reason. I had sown the seeds and the fruits were beginning to show and out of nowhere I came to know I was being replaced. Nobody told me why,” he told the Times of India in an interview.
“Yes, more than anything, it hurt because of the manner in which it was done. For all that I had contributed, just on one word from the BCCI, there were better ways to let me know ‘Oh look we don’t want you, we don’t like you. We want somebody else’ – if that was the case. Anyway, I went back to do what I do best – which is television. Around nine months passed, and I didn’t even have a clue that there was anything wrong inside the team. I mean, what could’ve been wrong? I was told there was a real problem and I said – how can there be a problem in nine months? The team that I had left was in such a good space. How the hell in nine months could something go that drastically wrong? “
Team India suffered a humiliating defeat against Pakistan in the final of the 2017 Champions Trophy and after that Ravi Shastri was chosen as the new head coach. Shastri said that at that time there were some people in the BCCI who did not want him to be chosen as the head coach of Team India.
“During my second stint, I came after a huge controversy. And it was literally egg on the faces of those who wanted me away. They opted for someone and nine months later, they came back to the very guy they threw out. And I’m not pointing any fingers at people (BCCI) in general. Specific people. I must say an attempt was made to ensure I don’t get the job. But such is life,” he explained.
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