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We can deliver: Kumble, Srinath

Sports Reporter

BANGALORE: Seeking to dispel notions of their lack of aptitude for administration in the run up to the KSCA elections, Javagal Srinath and Anil Kumble on Friday evening said their long careers in cricket were ample testament to their managerial skills.

“When you play cricket for 13 years, unless you know how to manage people, it is impossible,” said Srinath, who is contesting for the post of Secretary, interacting with a section of the print media here. “Cricket is all about teamwork and managing people and their skills. Therefore, a cricketer is a natural manager of people and a good team member.”

Srinath reiterated that it was only their sense of duty towards the sport that impelled the duo to jump into cricket administration. “This responsibility is natural,” he said, “and Anil and I have accepted it wholeheartedly. We don't want younger kids to play on torn matting wickets the way we did. Times have changed, but our infrastructure and our attitude for the game haven't. What's the point if we only complain and not do anything about it?”

The pair also sought to highlight the credentials of other members of their “team” – the group with the backing of outgoing Secretary Brijesh Patel. “Sadanand Maiya (Vice Presidential candidate and former treasurer), knows the administration that is required,” Kumble said. “He also runs a fantastic food joint. M.R. Srinivas Prasad (contesting for membership of Managing Committee) not only brings his cricketing expertise, but also that as the Vice President of a financial institution where he has 14,000 people working under him.”

“Tallam Venkatesh (seeking re-election as Treasurer) is a successful entrepreneur who runs a huge industry all by himself,” Srinath added. “The managerial skills that these people bring to the table are very important to us. We have chosen our people for a specific purpose. It's just not the caste or the club.” His aim, stated Kumble, was to usher in “corporate governance and professionalism”, and that the entrepreneurial accomplishments of his partners had shown they were capable of it.

Srinath was at pains to emphasize that Kumble and he wished to do away with factionalism, something he said had cost cricket in the State dearly. “The whole objective of our endeavour is to make Karnataka cricket one,” the 41-year-old said. “We're on neither of the groups.

We are on cricket's side.” He also brushed aside doubts cast on their ability to handle dual roles (Kumble is chairman of the National Cricket Academy and Srinath is an ICC match referee). “People ask if we have time,” he said. “We will have to make time and we will make

time for this game.”

Kumble hoped the election would not throw up a mixed verdict, with posts split between his “team” and the faction supported by Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar, the incumbent President. “If one team comes through, then three years is a lot of time,” he said. “But if there is a mix, then you are constantly managing people rather than the work. So we're hoping that that is what the members will see.”

A manifesto of sorts was also released on the day, with emphasis on improved infrastructure. The Chinnaswamy Stadium would be refurbished to meet world-class standards, it announced. Facilities in the hinterland would also be upgraded or built anew, as part of “continued and sustained focus to develop Mofussil cricket”.

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