Guha slams 'superstar culture'

Guha slams 'superstar culture'

Hitting out at Indian cricket’s “superstar culture”, historian Ramachandra Guha said on Friday that the BCCI’s insensitive handling of coach Anil Kumble was one of the reasons for his resignation from the Committee of Administrators (CoA).

In a letter to CoA chairman Vinod Rai, Guha also highlighted the unaddressed conflict of interest issues involving former cricketers Sunil Gavaskar, Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid, among the eight major points of disagreement with the Supreme Court-appointed panel.

Guha said Kumble should have got automatic extension, given his achievement over the past year.  “The Indian team’s record this past season has been excellent, ”Guha said.

“Even if the players garner the bulk of the credit, surely the head coach and his support staff also get some. In a system based on justice and merit, the head coach’s term would have been extended. Instead, Kumble was left hanging, and then told the post would be re-advertised afresh,” Guha wrote.

Commenting on the reported rift between captain Virat Kohli and Kumble, Guha asked if there was a fallout, why wasn’t it addressed as soon as the Australia series was over in March.

“Why was it left until the last minute, when a major international tournament was imminent, and when the uncertainty would undermine the morale and ability to focus?” he said.

Guha questioned Kohli’s power on deciding matters like the appointment of coach and even the commentators’ panel, stressing that giving senior players the impression they may have “veto power” over the coach is an example of superstar culture gone berserk.

“Such a veto power is not permitted to any other top level professional team in any other sport in any other country,” he wrote.

“Already, in a dismaying departure from international norms, current Indian players enjoy a veto power on who can be the members of the commentary team. If it is to be coaches next, then perhaps the selectors and even office-bearers will follow?”

Guha, who had earlier recommended Javagal Srinath be included in the CoA, said a male cricketer should be on the panel as his replacement so that issues of domestic cricketers could be highlighted better.

*Search for coach despite Kumble’s stellar record
*Neglecting domestic cricketers and their pay package
*No action from CoA towards disqualified officials attending BCCI meet
*Absence of male cricketer in CoA, despite request

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