At a venue, which used to be a second home for them during their playing days, Anil Kumble and Javagal Srinath professed their desire to elevate Karnataka cricket.
The duo, contesting for the Karnataka State Cricket Association president and secretary posts respectively, addressed the media at the Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Wednesday.
Flanked by outgoing secretary Brijesh Patel and Roger Binny, who will contest for the vice-president's post, Kumble said: “Srinath and I are keen to promote the game, improve infrastructure and enable Karnataka to emerge as the number one team in India.”
Though the two have multi-tasking roles, with the former India skipper being the National Cricket Academy chairman and the retired speedster being an ICC match referee, they stressed that they are committed towards the KSCA.
Working in tandem
“If we can find the time to be here and address all of you, then we will find the time to live up to our responsibilities,” Kumble said and Srinath added: “The days I am not here, I am sure Anil will shoulder the added responsibility and it is the same for him when he isn't here and I will step in. As for our other commitments, I do believe that at our age we do need to keep our jobs.”
Kumble did paint a brief blueprint of what he and like-minded cricketers intend to do if they win the elections on November 21.
“A lot more can be done to promote cricket at the grassroots. We also want to provide better comfort for the spectators. Karnataka has thrown up some world class talent in the past and we want to continue that trend but before all that we will sit and form a committee that will set the systems in place,” said Kumble.
Patel said: “It is better to go when people ask ‘why' than ‘why not'. As an association, we gave membership to cricketers, implemented the pension scheme, have acquired about 100 acres of land all over the State to build infrastructure, developed the State academy and have done our best to improve the game. I am sure Kumble, Srinath and Rahul Dravid will take the State forward.”
Shortly after Patel's speech, Srinath added: “Brijesh has set a precedent by not over-staying and I can assure all of you that we will not last as long as 12 years. We will put the systems in place and move on.”
The current president Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar's faction has remained silent though there are hints that the group will field its own candidates. The nominations for the various posts will close on November 9. Right now, besides Kumble and Srinath, Venkatesh Prasad is in the reckoning for the vice-president's post.