Kumble replaces Shastri as NCA chairman

Former skipper says new job is a huge responsibility, will require a lot of time and patience

Kumble replaces Shastri as NCA chairman

Operational for a decade now, it is debatable if the NCA has delivered the results expected, or promised. It is early days yet for Kumble, who will assume charge sometime next week, but already, the canny leg-spinner is warming to the challenge.

“It’s a huge responsibility,” Kumble told Deccan Herald. “It’s a job that will require a lot of time, and a lot of patience. Fortunately, I am in Bangalore and so is the NCA, so that makes the task slightly easier. A new NCA is on its way, and it will be nice to be involved in that process from the very beginning.”

Kumble said it would take him some time and energy to hit upon an action plan. “It’s too early for me to discuss concrete issues,” he pointed out. “It will require time, and it will require heads. It will be important to ensure that at the NCA, we merge the present with the future.

“A lot of focus is understandably being placed on the future, but we must also keep the present in mind. There must be a pipeline in place for a fresh talent pool to emerge, but we must at the same time make sure the present talent pool remains focussed, motivated and in the best shape physically and mentally to keep delivering for the country.”

Kumble added that one of his key areas of focus would be to put structures and processes in place so that the system takes care of itself. “I don’t look at my role as having to coach the boys,” he remarked. “It’s about putting the processes in place. It’s about ensuring that I facilitate things in such a manner that all the processes, the right processes, are instituted and implemented; once you do that, the rest will automatically fall into place. Obviously, there will be as much emphasis on ensuring the future talent pool develops enough, and quickly enough, to graduate to playing for India. That’s one of the primary objectives of this exercise.”

India’s highest wicket-taker in international cricket has spoken often of the need to mentor youngsters who are susceptible to the lure of the big bucks and various other distractions in modern-day cricket. Asked if being NCA chairman was in a way an extension of that mentoring role he has had in mind, he replied, “I wouldn’t call it an extension. Mentoring will obviously one small aspect, there will be a lot of other issues too that will need to be addressed.”

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