Kumble wants to manage cricket than play in IPL

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

BANGALORE - Former Indian captain Anil Kumble Tuesday pulled out of the auction for the fourth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), preferring to administer the game rather than play in the shorter version anymore.

I have played for more than 20 years in all forms of cricket. I have to take a call about the future. I intend to concentrate on management hereafter, 40-year-old Kumble told reporters here after announcing his withdrawal from the IPL auction slated for Jan 8-9.

In addition to being the newly elected president of the Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) and chairman of the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in this tech hub, Kumble cited his business commitments and pre-occupation with wildlife activities as the other reasons for not being available to play in the growing popular format of the game.

As I have decided to devote more time to KSCA and NCA management, I am not in a position to give enough time to play in T20, the legendary leg-spinner said.

As a seasoned wildlife photographer, Kumble is deputy chairman of the state-run Karnataka Wildlife Board.

Earlier, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary N. Srinivasan said in Mumbai that Kumble had informed the board that he wished to withdraw from the players auction for this years IPL tournament.

I have enjoyed my stint at the IPL so far and thank all concerned for the support extended, Kumble said in a statement released by BCCI earlier in the day.

Sources close to the Karnataka legend, however, told IANS that Kumble made up his mind to opt out of IPL after he was not retained by the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), which he led in the second and third editions.

He has been unhappy for not being retained by RCB, a long-time associate of Kumble said but declined to be named.

RCB is owned by city-based business tycoon and Rajya Sabha member Vijay Mallya.

Though Kumble, along with Rahul Dravid, were put in B category with a $200,000 auction fee, they subsequently increased their base price to $400,000.

Asked whether he would be associated with RCB, Kumble said: I have no bitterness towards RCB. I will associate in a management role with the team.

Srinivasan said in the statement that the former Indian skipper was largely responsible for RCBs turn around in the IPL.

After being named captain in IPL 2009 season, Kumble led his team to the final of the Twenty20 extravaganza in South Africa.

A year later, Kumble inspired his team to third position in the 2010 edition. The team also qualified for the Airtel Champions League Twenty20 tournament twice under his able leadership. Kumble took 45 wickets in the three editions of IPL to reaffirm his dominance even in the shortest version of the game, the statement said.

In 132 Tests, he has 619 wickets, the highest by an Indian and third overall after Sri Lankan great Muttiah Muralitharan and Australian Shane Warne. In a career spanning 18 years, he also played 271 ODIs and bagged 337 wickets.

He led in just 14 Tests, including the acrimonious 2007-08 series in Australia that India lost 1-2. Kumble stood firm even in testing times and even when the board was prepared to withdraw the team from the series mid-way after off-spinner Harbhajan Singh was accused of racially abusing Andrew Symonds.

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