High drama at KSCA's SGM

Kumble, Srinath walk out over clubhouse construction plans

High drama at KSCA's SGM

Amidst walkouts from former India cricketers Anil Kumble and Javagal Srinath, a Special General Body meeting, called by the Karnataka State Cricket Association here on Sunday, passed a resolution to take up developmental works, including construction of four clubhouses, to the tune of Rs 108 crore.

Kumble and Srinath, the president and the secretary in the previous committee respectively, strongly felt that cricket had taken a backseat under the present regime led by Brijesh Patel, the present secretary. “The proposal that they presented was that they needed an approval for close to Rs 118 crore in a day (including other expenditures),” Kumble pointed out. “I tried to tell them that the amount of Rs 170 crore or around that we have in KSCA account at the moment, didn’t come in a day. It has come over 79 years and here you are approving such huge amount in a day. We are not against development of cricket but we had to register our dissent for the proposal that they have put up for club houses and convention centres. There are other districts which need infrastructure and existing facilities need proper maintenance,” explained the former India skipper.

The KSCA is planning sports complexes, residential rooms and clubhouse facilities in Alur (Rs 33 crore), Hubli, Shimoga and Belgaum (Rs 25 crore each) in a phased manner.

Brijesh, on his part, maintained that cricket will never be compromised. “It’s just a nomenclature (clubhouse) that we have given,” he stressed. 

“We are building swimming pools, gymnasiums, dormitories… These are all cricket-centric activities and these are facilities that are needed. Can you maintain a swimming pool for just 10 cricketers? Can you maintain the rooms, gyms for just 10-15 people? We are also planning to buy our own land in each district and develop infrastructure, so cricket will remain our priority,” he offered.

Kumble was of the view that even if the association had to build a swimming pool or a gym for just one cricketer then they had to because that’s why KSCA is for. “When I asked how has this (at the Chinnaswamy stadium) clubhouse helped cricket, they said it’s just a nomenclature… They will have swimming pools, gymnasiums and other facilities. What are the other facilities? Bars? Then they say these (club houses) are revenue generators. I asked them ‘please tell me if our club house is making any profit.’ 

“Because I know it’s running under loss. I am not against clubhouse but cricket has to take precedence. And I felt really bad when we said that this association is for cricketers, we got booed at SGM,” Kumble said.

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