The role of coach and captain is tremendous in any team sport. With almost a dozen players involved, it is a given that the part extends itself off the field as well. However, there have been cases when it's not been all smooth sailing for them. Following are the instances of the famous (infamous) duels between the captain and coaches in cricket.
1. Ross Taylor and Mike Hesson
Before the 2012-13 New Zealand tour to Sri Lanka, the then kiwi coach had asked Ross Taylor to step down from captaincy. Taylor’s century in the second test match meant that NZ secured a tie in the series. In the post-match press conference, Taylor told the media about captaincy's altercation between him and the coach. However, while clarifying later, Mike Hesson said that he wanted Taylor to leave the captaincy in limited-overs but continue in test matches. Ross Taylor had already taken a break from cricket following that series. Nonetheless, the New Zealand Cricket offered him an apology, and Ross Taylor returned in 2013.
After a dramatic exit to Mohammed Azharuddin following the spot-fixing scandal, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) made Sachin Tendulkar the team's captain. World Cup-winning captain for India, Kapil Dev, was announced as the coach for that period. Sachin, though, in his autobiography Playing it my way, stated that he wasn’t pleased with the way he coached. Sachin wrote in his book that the coach never involved himself in the strategic decision-making for the team. He went on to mention that Kapil Dev left a lot to be done by the coach.
and Greg Chappell
One of the most tumultuous periods in Indian cricket was when the Australian legend was appointed as the coach of the Indian national team for two years in 2005. Although the Indian skipper had a significant role to play in the appointment of Greg Chappell as the Coach, things ended on a sour note for them by the end of the stint. Things started to unfold when India toured Zimbabwe in 2005. Greg Chappell insisted on the inclusion of Mohd. Kaif and
are in the test squad and ready to snub Ganguly, the captain, for the same.
Although the series went on well for the Indian team and Ganguly, there was much to come for him in the future. Soon an Email was leaked from Chappell’s laptop by a journalist. The email sent to the board stated that Ganguly was ‘mentally and physically unfit to lead the team.’ Sourav was dropped from the squad following these events, and the decision faced a huge uproar in India. After the defeat in the 2007 Cricket world cup, Chappell submitted his resignation.
4. Shahid Afridi and
The 2011 World Cup semi-final loss was a severe blow to Pakistani Cricket. Although the campaign was going well until the knockouts, their duel amongst certain players and coaches became public post the loss. The same year, Waqar Younis called Shahid Afridi ‘an immature captain’ in his report after a disappointing West Indian series. He further added that Afridi lacked discipline, was not open to listening to others' ideas and did not have a proper game plan. Following this conundrum, Pakistan Cricket Board sacked Afridi as the captain of the national team. Younis also resigned the same day. Nevertheless, both have made comebacks to the respective positions after a few years.
5. Kevin Pieterson and Peter Moores
Stylish English batter Kevin Pieterson was made the captain of the English team in 2008. After a successful start, the differences between the captain and the coach started to become more apparent. In his autobiography, Pieterson wrote that Moores would behave like a woodpecker and keep tapping on the players. He criticized the coach for being too obsessed with numbers and meetings. After an unsuccessful tour to India, Moores was sacked by the English Cricket Board, while Pieterson resigned.
6. Wasim Akram and Javed Miandad
The ghost of match-fixing had entered 22 yards big time in the 90s. India, Pakistan, and South Africa were the major victims of the same. Several players in the Pakistani camp have complained about the inconsistencies within the team. The loyalties of the colleagues were questioned. Javed Miandad was the coach of the Pakistani team in 1999. Weeks before the ICC Cricket World Cup, Javed Miandad was forced to step down by the team led by Wasim Akram. The reason for the rebellion is the baseless allegations that he had made regarding fixing in Sharjah earlier. After stepping down, Miandad stated that his conscience did not allow him to continue as the national team coach.
7. Samiullah Beigh and Bishen Singh Bedi
During the 2012-13 Ranji season, discrimination was made against Bishen Singh Bedi by the Jammu and Kashmir teams. The Jammu and Kashmir captain, Samiullah Beigh, wanted a Kashmiri pacer in the team. After having a difference of opinion on the issue, the Kashmiri members of the team boycotted the next match against Goa. It was believed that the coach preferred players from Jammu over those from Kashmir. The captain was banned, and Bedi resigned in 2013.
8. Sourav Ganguly and John Buchanan
Sourav Ganguly had had his fair share of controversies with the coaches by 2008. In the inaugural season of the Indian Premier League, the two-time world cup winning captain John Buchanan was appointed as the coach of the Kolkata franchise led by Sourav. However, in 2009, the coach followed multiple captains' policies, and Brendon McCallum became the captain. Following a poor show in the tournament, the coach was sacked by the management. In 2010, Ganguly was made the captain, but following another poor show, the franchise decided to cut ties with the former Indian skipper.
9. Michael Clarke and Darren Lehmann
After a successful first decade in the 21st century, the Australian team had to rebuild themselves, post the exit of many legends. Darren Lehmann was made the coach of the national team in 2013. Although it was Lehmann, during whose reign the team won their 5th World Cup, things weren’t great between the captain and coach. In his controversial book, the former Australian skipper accused Lehmann of being a powermonger. Although Clarke clarified that there was nothing personal between them, he did not appreciate the coaching technique of the latter.
In a more recent spat captain-coach spat, the one which attracted several eyeballs was the relation between Anil Kumble and Virat Kohli. In 2016, the former leg spinner was made the coach of the national team for one year. His duties were to end with the conclusion of the 2017 champions trophy in England. The period leading up to the big-ticket event was an extremely successful time for Indian cricket. Indian emerged as a powerhouse in tests and also did very well in limited-overs games. However, days before the champions trophy, reports of a spat between the captain and coach came out. Even after continuous denial from the captain and the board, the difference of opinion became very evident. The reason for the rift is still unclear, although there have been several speculations made regarding the same.