Kumble, Srinath and Prasad to contest KSCA elections
Three of Karnataka's greatest ever cricketers - Anil Kumble, Javagal Srinath and Venkatesh Prasad - will contest elections to the state cricket association (KSCA) on November 21. A fourth, Rahul Dravid, will not contest but has indicated to his former team-mates that, if they win, he will be part of the administration in some capacity.
"We are all in this together," Prasad told ESPNcricinfo.
Kumble, Srinath and Prasad have all held administrative posts with the BCCI and the ICC. Kumble was named the chairman of the National Cricket Academy in September, while Srinath has been an ICC match referee for the past few years. Prasad, currently the bowling coach with Chennai Super Kings in the IPL, has coached the India Under-19 team and the Karnataka Ranji team and was the bowling coach of the national side for two years. He was reported last week to have accepted an assignment with the Asian Cricket Council to promote the game and groom talent in the non-cricketing parts of the continent.
Their entry marks the exit of an earlier generation of cricketers from the KSCA , led by its current secretary Brijesh Patel and including GR Viswanath, Syed Kirmani and Roger Binny. "With the changing times I'm of the belief that fresh energy, new ideas and young feet are always good for an institution," Patel said in a statement released on Tuesday. "We are lucky that we have Kumble, Dravid, Srinath and others willing to sacrifice their time and energy to take Karnataka cricket forward."
Patel and his generation of players came into administration in 1998, and he's been secretary since then.
"I've seen these cricketers closely and I've immense faith and utmost confidence in their ability and commitments to make KSCA a model association," he said. "My team and I have decided to extent unstinted support to this cause. I also appeal to all members of the KSCA to support this young team."
The number of cricketers with India caps and sizeable stature who have entered the labyrinth of Indian cricket politics are small. The most prominent among them is Dilip Vengsarkar, who is a Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) vice-president, and has contested four elections since 2000, winning two against a rival and being voted uncontested in the others. He had contested an lone MCA election in the 1990s shortly after his retirement, but had then been beaten.
In 1998, Sunil Gavaskar was co-opted into the MCA as vice-president to fill in the post made vacant following the sudden death of the incumbent, Ramakant Desai. Gavaskar did not contest the next election a few months later because he said he didn't want to stand against fellow cricketers.
In the same year Kapil Dev stood for elections for the post of Haryana Cricket Association, but was beaten by Ranbir Singh Mahendra who went on to become the BCCI president in 2004.
India's most successful captain of the 20th century, Ajit Wadekar, was elected Mumbai Cricket Association president, lost the post to Sharad Pawar in 2001. That election gave Pawar, currently ICC president, his entry into cricket administration. Spin twins, Bishen Singh Bedi and S Venkataraghavan once held office as the secretaries of their home associations, Bedi with the Delhi & Districts Cricket Association (DDCA) and Venkataraghavan with the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association.
Currently, the Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) has former India off-spinner Arshad Ayub as its president, and former India spinners Shivlal Yadav and S L Venkatapathy Raju as its vice-presidents. Yadav is also a former HCA secretary. Former India opener Chetan Chauhan holds office as DDCA vice-president.