New Delhi: India's powerful cricket board hastily deleted a birthday message for record Test wicket-taker Anil Kumble on Tuesday after irate fans took offence at the spinning great being described simply as a "former bowler".
The row follows Kumble's acrimonious departure as national coach in June, when he quit saying his relationship with captain Virat Kohli was "untenable".
The Board of Control for Cricket in India joined in the well wishes for Kumble's 47th birthday but quickly backtracked after its low-key description sent fans into a spin.
"Here's wishing former #TeamIndia bowler @anilkumble1074 a very happy birthday," read the BCCI message on its official Twitter account, before the post was deleted.
Fans of Kumble were angered, saying the board was playing down the achievements of India's greatest bowler.
"Umm bowler? Wasn't he also Captain and Coach and is India's leading Wicket taker?" replied television journalist and author Digvijay Singh Deo on Twitter.
Other fans urged the board to give Kumble his "due respect".
The BCCI then tweeted another message calling him "former captain" and "legend", but the damage was done.
— BCCI (@BCCI) October 17, 2017
Kumble's relationship with the BCCI was the subject of much speculation after his resignation.
It was reported in the Indian press that board officials tried to salvage ties between Kumble amd Kohli, but that the relationship was beyond repair.
Kumble, who played for India for 17 years, has never commented publicly on the matter. Ravi Shastri was since been appointed coach of the Indian side.
Kumble, or 'Jumbo' as he is fondly known, remains India's highest Test wicket-taker with his 619 scalps in 132 matches.
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The trio has completed a 10-day isolation as per the UK Health Protocols but, to return home, they also need to pass a "fit to fly" test, apart from negative RT-PCR reports.
The 50-year-old Kumble, who also served as the head coach of the Indian team, also feels that as we move onto the OTT (over the top) platforms, more technology will come into the sport.
Whether Kohli took the decision to quit T20I captaincy to purely manage the workload or the criticism got to him will remain a mystery for a while, but all things considered, it appears a bold move that should only benefit Indian cricket and him.