Hard to imagine Indian cricket without Sachin Tendulkar, says Anil Kumble

Principal Correspondent
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GIVING BACK TO SPORT:After retirement, Anil Kumble has plunged headlong into sports promotion and administration.— PHOTO: PTI
GIVING BACK TO SPORT:After retirement, Anil Kumble has plunged headlong into sports promotion and administration.— PHOTO: PTI

Anil Kumble would like Sachin Tendulkar to continue playing.

On the sustained speculation concerning Tendulkar’s retirement, Kumble said, “It is never easy to think of Indian cricket without Sachin Tendulkar. I want him to play. It was a privilege for me to share the dressing room with him for 13 years.”

“It is a decision an individual can take. Any sportsman taking a call in his career is not easy. It is a tough decision for anyone,” added Kumble.

Playing the role of a cricket administrator and spreading the culture of sports, the former Test captain is enjoying his responsibilities as a sports promoter.

Kumble, who launched his Tenvic Sports Academy at the Ryan International School, Rohini, here on Friday, underlined his commitment to popularise sports as a way of life.

“Sport gives you lessons on how to deal with success and failure in life. A few days after I took 10 wickets (in an innings) against Pakistan at Ferozeshah Kotla here, we went to Kolkata to play another match against the same side. There I struggled and finally got the wicket of Shoaib Akhtar, a No. 11 batsman.

“Sport teaches you that success is not guaranteed,” he said.

Kumble said through Tenvic he aimed at providing organised coaching at grassroots level. As for the tie-up with Ryan International School, Tenvic’s coaches and trainers will coach students in cricket, badminton, table tennis and chess.

The kids will get the assistance of cognitive video-based training.

The legendary spinner insisted that youngsters should learn how to play cricket the proper way. “They should play cricket. Later, we can see whether they can play T20 or 50-over or four-day matches.”

Talking of his roles as the Karnataka State Cricket Academy president and the chairman of BCCI’s technical committee, Kumble said he was happy to give something back to the game.

“I think I am able to tackle administrative issues better because of my sports background. In any sport, each match is different. You have to go through the routine and face the challenge. You have to take it on the chin and face the music. Sport has certainly helped me in my second innings.”

Asked about present-day spinners, Kumble said there were some good bowlers around the world.

“You have Graeme Swann, he is a fantastic bowler. There is Saeed Ajmal who has done wonders. In the Indian context, R. Ashwin has grown as a bowler.

“You cannot discount Harbhajan Singh. He is only 32. It is the right age for a spinner to mature,” said Kumble.

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