From a young age when cricketers look forward to playing the game, they are nurtured, taught and given the wisdom of learning the tricks of sport from their coaches. However, as the career progresses, the talented ones represent the country in different formats. Some also wants to become captains but sometimes not every cricketer accepts getting along with their country’s head coach.
In this article, we will look at the the 5 famous instances wherein coaches and cricketers battled off the field.
1. Ramesh Powar & Mithali Raj
After Tushar Arothe’s resignation as head coach of the Indian women’s cricket team in, Ramesh Powar came in as an interim replacement in August 2018. He was eventually handed full-time duties which he retained upto November of the same year.
Everything looked good under Powar’s tutelage until the team landed in the West Indies for the 2018 T20 World Cup. In the tournament’s opening game, Mithali Raj, was dropped from the Playing XI in spite of her experience as a senior member of the team.
Ramesh Powar cited Mithali’s slow gameplay and lack of intent as the reasons for her exclusion. The head coach decided to use Raj and Taniya Bhatia in alternate games, even though Raj, the ODI captain, was adjudged the player of the match in India’s second league game.
Despite scoring match-winning fifties in both the games that she played, Mithali Raj was sidelined for the semifinals against England, which India ended up losing.
Following the incident, Mithali Raj accused Ramesh Powar of discrimination and bias in a letter addressed to the BCCI. She added that Powar had humiliated her during the T20 World Cup and that she was hurt being dropped from the team.
“…. I would also like to point out that I have nothing against the T20 captain Harmanpreet Kaur except for the fact that her call to support the decision of the coach to leave me out of the eleven was baffling and hurtful. I wanted to win the world cup for my country and it hurts me because we lost a golden opportunity.” an excerpt of her letter read.
Ramesh had hit back asserting that Mithali “threw a lot of tantrums and created chaos in the team.“
Following that episode, Ramesh Powar’s contract was not renewed further and WV Raman was appointed as the coach. However, with the recent development of Ramesh Powar, being reappointed, the committee members brought up the previous episode of Mithali Raj. Commenting on the same, Powar seems to have said that he has no objection in working with her.
2. Greg Chappell & Sourav Ganguly
Both are legends of the game in their own right. They have played the game with their head held high. But, when they shared the dressing room they never made it a comfortable journey.
Indian captain Sourav Ganguly and legendary Australian batsman Greg Chappell have shared a willy-nilly relationship. Coach Chappell wanted Sourav to step down for the benefit of the team in 2005 when Indian team were touring Zimbabwe. Before the first Test, captain Ganguly asked Greg whom he should choose between Yuvraj and Kaif.
Greg said both should play the game and he should step down from captaincy and sit out from the match. The feud started from there. Ganguly was ready to leave the tour. But, he opened the pandora box in the press conference as he said he had been asked to step down.
They were hurried to patch up. But, as the series ended, Chappell has sent an email to BCCI which was leaked to the media. Chappell said that Ganguly was not “mentally and physically” fit to lead the side.
Ganguly was later stripped off from the captaincy and dropped from the side for the One Day International series against South Africa. An angry Eden Gardens crowd booed the Indian team and cheered for the opposition in November. The crowd burned the effigies and staging protests. An Odisha fan also slapped Greg.
The seeds of distrust were sown with the final chapter being the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies, where India eliminated in the first round and Chappell handed his resignation letter.
3. Virat Kohli & Anil Kumble
The controversial episode of Anil Kumble exit as an Indian Cricket coach after a fall out with Indian skipper Virat Kohli shocked everyone. According to a report back then, an Email suggested Virat Kohli played a significant role in Kumble’s ouster and “frequently” worked behind the scenes against him.
The Email also suggested that Kohli frequently sent messages to the then BCCI CEO Rahul Johri. Kumble resigned in June 2017 despite being part of a team that has lost just one out in 17 tests during his tenure. He said his relationship with the skipper was “untenable”.
4. Mike Hesson & Ross Taylor
This is the perfect anecdote of the misunderstanding. New Zealand coach Mike Hesson wanted Brendon McCullum as coach of the national side. New Zealand Cricket asked Taylor to step down.
The incident happened after Ross Taylor’s match winning performance against Sri Lanka in Colombo. Taylor innings helped New Zealand to draw the series 1-1. But, after the series, Taylor threw a bombshell in the press conference. Taylor said Hesson had asked him to step down as a leader in all formats. But, Hesson changed his mind after the series. But, belittled Taylor resigned from captaincy and opted to take a break from cricket.
However, Hesson later clarified that he asked Tylor to step aside from limited over formats and continue as Test captain. New Zealand Cricket offered an apology to Taylor, who returned in cricket in February 2013 under the captaincy of McCullum. Unlike, other coaches and captains disputes this one ended in a sweeter note as they step aside their egos for the good of New Zealand cricket.
5. John Buchanan & Sourav Ganguly
The successful Australian two time world cup winning coach John Buchanan was appointed as the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in 2008. But in 2009 Buchanan’s multiple captains formulae raised eyebrows.
Sourav Ganguly stepped down as captain. KKR finished bottom in the point table. Former Indian captain Ganguly quipped at the press conference, “Tomorrow I can jump out and say we need four batting coaches, four John Buchanan.”
Finally, there were no multiple captains as Brendon McCullum had to shoulder KKR’s failure throughout the season. McCullum was termed as “Fake IPL player”. However, in the next season Buchanan was sacked while Ganguly was reinstated as captain for the next season. But, the franchise cut its tie with him as well ahead of the fourth season.