he former head of the BCCI’s Committee of Administrators (CoA) Vinod Rai has revealed that he was in favour of continuing with Anil Kumble as India coach after the widely-publicized fallout in 2017 between the legendary spinner and Indian captain Virat Kohli. During his one-year term Kumble turned out to be one of the most successful coaches with India excelling in all formats of the game, especially in Test cricket. But due to differences arising between him and Kohli, Kumble was ultimately forced to resign from his post as the BCCI started looking for his replacements.

In an interview with Hindustan Times, Rai said that he would have extended Kumble’s contract if it had an extension clause.

“Anil Kumble was the best coach available. If his contract had an extension clause, I would have extended it. I have too much respect and regard for Kumble. But since there was no extension clause and since I wasn’t equipped to decide, we fell back on CAC. We inherited the CAC, not created it,” said Rai after the tenure of the CoA came to an end on Wednesday.

Rai also went into the details of what went on between him, the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) and the coach-captain duo as the tumultuous events unfolded during the Champions Trophy 2017.

“I had a long chat with Sachin then and Sourav now. I met Sachin in Birmingham during the Champions Trophythey were meeting Kumble and Viratand I told Sachin I had a long chat with Virat (when he was in Mumbai and I was in Hyderabad) on the telephone. I barely knew Virat then. I told Sachin, I felt he was not willing to accept that Kumble continues. So you people have a word with him. Coming from people of your stature, you may be able to persuade him’. I know Sachin and Sourav spoke to him. Sourav told me recently that they had a long chat with him. If they couldn’t persuade him how could I?