Former India captain Mohammad Azharuddin has come out in support of his former teammate Anil Kumble, calling his decision to quit from the position of the Indian cricket team's coach as the right choice.
Speaking on the sidelines of a promotional event, Azharuddin was quoted by the Times of India as saying, "I feel very sad for him. It is sad that something like this happened to Anil. Knowing Anil, I don't think he is that type of a person. Maybe he thought it is better to be away than losing your self-respect. I think he took the right decision."
The former India captain, who was one of the country's biggest stars during the 1990s before a match-fixing allegation ended his career prematurely, also lamented at the chaos that engulfed the process of appointment of the coach for Men in Blue.
“I always feel the BCCI should be the body which appoints the coach. When I was playing, it never used to happen (this way)… you can’t pick and choose. The BCCI used to appoint the coach (and) it was not the captain’s prerogative. But now things have changed,” Azharuddin said to Hindustan Times.
He further said that there may be many differences between a coach and the captain but both should always strive for a balance.
“You do have ups and downs with the coach because every time you won’t agree with the coach or he won’t agree with you,” Azharuddin said, referring to differences between Kumble and Kohli. “There has to be the right balance. You have to work in tandem.”
Azharuddin was also irritated by the comments of the present head coach Ravi Shastri, who had recently said that the present Indian team has achieved a lot more than those of previous 20 years.
"Sometimes I don't know why people make such comments. I don't think such comments deserve a reaction from me. He has been part of sides of the past as well. So I will leave it at that," said Azharuddin in an interaction with India Today.
"He's being disrespectful to himself as well, as he has been part of Indian teams of the past. But you can't stop people from commenting," Azharuddin added.
Azharuddin also spoke about of S Sreesanth regarding Kerala High Court's order to lift the life ban on the cricketer.
He called on the BCCI to follow the court's order. However, he stopped short of calling for Sreesanth's return, saying that he needs to prove his fitness first.
"I think if the court order has come then they have to follow it. He has lost four years but Sreesanth will have to bring his fitness up to the required standards. He will have to put in good performances," Azhar was quoted by the Times of India.