In the past, Anil Kumble has often gone beyond the conference halls and administrative sections of the Karnataka State Cricket Association while he was busy playing for India, Karnataka and Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Chinnaswamy Stadium. Now, as the president of the KSCA, Kumble has to address more pressing administrative matters and he has handled the situation with unwavering commitment, much like he played.
The former India captain is now all keyed up as Bangalore is set to host five World Cup games.
The venue has been spruced up with a fresh coat of paint, better floodlights, refurbished dressing rooms and a re-designed press box.
“The stadium is match-ready. In a couple of days the Indian team will be arriving here and we will be functionally ready on February 9, and we are all set for the practice game between India and Australia here on February 13,” Kumble said here on Monday.
The KSCA president said all concerns raised by the ICC had been addressed over the past few months. “For the players, we have provided better facilities, taking everything into account like even the space for their kitbags.
“As for the public, there will be top-class catering and clean toilets. We have provided electronic scoreboards at vantage points. Looking ahead, I want permanent seating and want to ensure that every spectator with a valid ticket will have a valid seat. That will take time,” Kumble said.
With the shifting of the match between India and England from Kolkata to Bangalore on February 27, Kumble has to deal with logistical issues.
“The ICC wants about 7,000 to 10,000 tickets and those are the premium ones. We are factoring in all that while deciding the rates. We have addressed all the security issues; the ICC security wing got in touch with the Police Commissioner and they are happy.
“We hope for a good crowd response. I know it will be there for the India games but we are also trying to rope in schools, though it gets difficult as March is the month of exams here,” Kumble said.
Kumble thanked the KSCA committee for supporting him and secretary Javagal Srinath's endeavours to improve the stadium.
“As for the shift from being a player to becoming an administrator, I think it is all about a change in mind-set. I am happy that I don't have to face the pressure of playing for India against England here on February 27. I have had good support so far and we want to keep improving the facilities,” Kumble said.
Kumble, who has played in four World Cups — 1996, 1999, 2003 and 2007 — said India had a good team and also lauded Sachin Tendulkar's longevity.
“The team has the right balance and if the team peaks at the right moment, India can go on to win the tournament. Sachin has been an exceptional player for the last 21 years and it will be fitting if we go on to win this World Cup,” Kumble said.