Bangalore: “We want the KSCA to be run by cricketers and who better than Gundappa Viswanath for president? He is a former India and Karnataka captain and is also a gentleman cricketer who has played for Karnataka in the Seventies and Eighties to spread the game. He has got the best credentials for the job,” said Brijesh Patel, KSCA secretary, in a press conference organised by the ‘Karnataka Cricket Fans Association’ here on Wednesday afternoon. The media briefing is seen as an ‘official launch’ of the KSCA’s current ruling body’s campaign in the lead-up to the association elections to be held on September 9.
It may be recalled that the present KSCA office-bearers are pitted against a rival group led by the scion of the Mysore royal family — Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar. The rival camp has also boasted about the support it has received from former cricketers like E.A.S. Prasanna and Syed Kirmani besides also claiming the backing of industrialist Vijay Mallya.
Viswanath and Brijesh spoke at length about the KSCA’s achievements during their tenure. “We are one of the few associations to give voting rights to Test and Ranji cricketers. Even I got my voting right after Brijesh took over. We are also the first association to launch a pension scheme for former cricketers,” Viswanath said.
Brijesh mentioned about the growth of ‘mofussil’ cricket and the ear-marking of land in Bangalore, Hassan, Shimoga, Hubli, Belgaum and Raichur for building proper infrastructure for cricket.
He also added that reciprocal tour arrangements with Australian first-class sides are a first among State associations in India. The secretary also spoke about the various coaching programs held at the KSCA academy, the increasing presence of cricketers from rural back grounds in the State sides across all age groups and also about the corporate boxes in the Chinnaswamy Stadium and the success of mobile ticketing.
“We also propose to have internet booking for the ODI against Australia here on September 29,” Brijesh Patel said. He also mentioned that the current association has improved the finances and has more than rupees twenty crore in fixed deposits. — Principal Correspondent