KSCA could have handled KPL on its own: Kumble

Former Indian captain unimpressed by association's decision to go corporate in proposed T20 tournament

Anil KumbleAnil Kumble doesn’t disagree with that. What he is firmly against is the influx of those not associated with the sport in any form thus far into the cricketing sphere in the State which, he believes, is not in the best interests of Karnataka cricket.

“The tournament as such will provide a platform for players from the districts as well as those in the City to showcase their skills and learn the nuances. Make no mistake, I am not against the Twenty20 format,” the former Indian skipper told Deccan Herald. “No one can deny that it is here to stay. But what is the KPL all about? I really don’t understand the concept as it exists now.”

Kumble is of the opinion that the Karnataka State Cricket Association ought not to have looked outside in its stated wish to give players from beyond Bangalore greater exposure to cricket’s newest and most exciting form.

“What is the point of the whole exercise?” India’s highest wicket-taker asked, bluntly. “Why this desire to go corporate? The sums of money we are being told about are modest, I am sure the KSCA could have handled the event on its own.

“From out of the annual grant that comes to them from the BCCI, the association could have spent Rs 1 or 2 crore towards the KPL,” Kumble offered.

 “What the tournament in its proposed shape could do is allow a backdoor entry to people not necessarily passionate about cricket into the KSCA, and perhaps at later stage into KSCA administration. I don’t see that as a healthy or positive development.”
At least 72 players from Karnataka, outside of the elite 40-man pool, will get to be a part of the KPL. “If we have that big a pool of quality cricketers to choose from, it is great!” the leg-spinner supreme observed.

It isn’t just the KPL that has Kumble worried. “Safi Darashah used to be a hugely competitive tournament from before we started out, and later too.

“There were just three teams -- the Combined City XI, the Combined Mofussil XI and the State XI. It meant the cream of the talent in Karnataka was pitting its wares against one another. If someone from the Mofussils did well, he was instantly recognised and rewarded with a place in the State side.

“Now we have four teams, and many of the State players aren’t playing. The moment you have more numbers, the quality is bound to decline.”

DH News Service

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