The search for India's cricket coach has taken an interesting turn with Anil Kumble applying for the post, it has been reliably learnt.
Incidentally, a release from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Sunday merely stated that there were 57 applicants, including overseas candidates, but did not mention any names.
When compared to other former India players, at least the ones who admitted to the media that they have applied for the post, Kumble towers over the rest in terms of cricketing stature. India's greatest match-winning bowler with 956 international wickets (619 in Tests and 337 in ODIs) and one who also led India ably, Kumble is understood to have submitted his candidature well before the June 10 deadline.
One of the BCCI's stipulations for the top slot is that the candidate "should have successfully coached a cricket team of any of the member countries of the ICC, at the first class or at the International level." In terms of coaching, Kumble has mentored IPL teams Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians.
Currently, Sanjay Bangar is the interim coach for the Indian team that is playing in Zimbabwe. The BCCI needs to pick a coach ahead of India's next month's tour of the West Indies, where Virat Kohli's men will play four Tests. Subsequently, India has an exhaustive home-season, featuring 13 Tests, with the visitors being New Zealand, England, Bangladesh and Australia.
The BCCI release mentioned that the "scrutiny of the applications received is now being carried out by the office of the honorary secretary [Ajay Shirke] of the BCCI. After this initial scrutiny, the list of candidates who meet the criteria will be processed for further consideration."
Understandably, the views of India's captains - Kohli in Tests and M.S. Dhoni in ODIs and T20Is - will play a critical role in coach selection.
The coming weeks should offer some clarity on how the BCCI handles the final stage of picking the coach.