Anil Kumble has decided there is too much in the plate for him to continue playing any form of serious cricket. The former India captain and lead bowler quit the Indian Premier League (IPL) on Tuesday, pulling out of the player auction which is due to be held in Bangalore this weekend.
India's leading Test wicket-taker displayed his astute leadership and sharp bowling for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) to settle any doubts the slam-bang variety may not be his cup of tea. The franchise under Kumble's captaincy reached the 2009 final and were third last year, wiping out a poor first year when its flamboyant owner Vijay Mallya was left saying he faced questions why he had chosen players like Kumble, Rahul Dravid, Kumble and Jacques Kallis who were masters of Tests than T20.
Kumble at 40 has moved firmly into administration. He showed the player power in November when he took over as the Karnataka State Cricket Association president. He is the chairman of the National Cricket Academy (NCA), and the avid photographer is also vice-chairman of the Karnataka Wildlife Board.
His IPL future was up in the air after the RCB decided not to retain their captain for IPL 4. Kumble still seemed keen to play after doubling his base price to $4,00,000 to join 21 other players with the highest reserve price at the auction. A BCCI statement announced Kumble's decision to pull out from a league in turmoil, citing his busy schedule and business commitments.
However, the RCB has named the inspirational player as its chief mentor.
"I sincerely believe Anil's presence in the RCB leadership team will provide a fresh dimension and perspective to our IPL strategy in the medium and long term," team owner Vijay Mallya said in a statement.
"We believe, his proven track record as a peerless international cricketer and Indian captain, his astute leadership at the IPL that carried RCB to a top-3 finish in two successive years coupled with administrative skills offer a unique combination."
Kumble looked forward to the role. "I'm excited to take on the mentoring role for RCB. At the same time, the task involves huge responsibility to better the benchmarks that Royal Challengers have already created in the last two seasons."