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'Facilities in Karnataka will produce more national players'

Kanishkaa Balachandran in Bangalore

August 7, 2013

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Javagal Srinath, Syed Kirmani, Gundappa Viswanath, and Anil Kumble at the KSCA platinum jubilee celebrations, Bangalore, August 7, 2013
Former Karnataka players at the launch of the KSCA's platinum jubilee celebrations © ESPNcricinfo Ltd
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Former India bowlers Anil Kumble and Javagal Srinath, who also hold top positions at the Karnataka State Cricket Association, are confident that the growing cricketing infrastructure around the state will help Karnataka win Ranji Trophy titles and produce more India cricketers. Both were speaking at a function in Bangalore to launch the platinum jubilee celebrations of the KSCA.

Karnataka won the last of their six Ranji titles in 1998-99, winning three of those starting from the 1995-96. That era produced several cricketers who also featured for India, including Srinath, Kumble, Rahul Dravid, Venkatesh Prasad, Sunil Joshi, Vijay Bharadwaj and Dodda Ganesh. In recent years, the representation has reduced, with fast bowler Vinay Kumar the most favoured Karnataka player among the national selectors. The side came close to regaining the title in 2009-10, losing a tense final to Mumbai.

The KSCA recently has spread the game to towns outside of Bangalore, hosting Ranji games in places like Shimoga, Mysore and Hubli and the spectator response has been encouraging. The team was knocked out in the quarter-finals last season but Kumble, the KSCA president, said there were positives to draw from the team's performances in recent seasons.

"The infrastructure has been put in place not just in Bangalore but other parts of Karnataka. It will take some time and I'm sure it will come up," Kumble said. "We have a good, young team which had done exceptionally well in the last year. They came close, losing out to Saurashtra. It's just the matter of one moment that you need to take to the cricket field in a difficult time. That's something that with experience they will come good and hopefully this season we can win the Ranji Trophy.

"Having said that, with all the infrastructure and the developments that have happened, I can assure you that in the years to come there will be a lot more victories to celebrate and greater representation in the Indian team as well from Karnataka."

Srinath, the KSCA secretary, said titles would come so long as players from across the state have access to similar facilities that are available within Bangalore.

"Our objective has been to take the game to all the jurisdictions of KSCA. We need to replicate what we have in Mysore or Bangalore or even better," Srinath told ESPNcricinfo. "The kids in and around these districts will have access to anything and everything. There is a uniformity in terms of infrastructure which is very crucial to us. Turf wickets are a must, we don't believe in matting wickets.

"Unless you have uniformity in infrastructure it's going to be tough for us to expect the players to play the same kind of cricket."

Vinay is an example of an outstation player who has come made it to the national team and Srinath felt that the number of such players will only increase. "There is tremendous talent," he said. "You normally have four to five guys from outside Bangalore and with this infrastructure I expect more people."

The KSCA has several events planned over the months as part of its celebrations, including a live discussion featuring Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Kapil Dev, Richard Hadlee, Sunil Gavaskar and Bishen Bedi, on August17. There will also be a discussion on club cricket in Karnataka, featuring Srinath, Dravid and author Ramachandra Guha.

Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by correctcall on (August 8, 2013, 15:58 GMT)

August 17 meeting of the great and the good of Indian cricket would be an outstanding time for them all to speak out against match fixing and maladministration. Indian cricketers and fans deserve better than the shoddy performance of the BCCI over the last two years. SRT, now a Parliamentarian, has a moral obligation to lead on this.

Posted by tcherian on (August 8, 2013, 11:17 GMT)

Nice to see people like Kumble and Sreenath leading a cricketing association in India. It is better than having a Pawar or Dalmiya or any one of same ilk leading other associations in the country

Posted by Rodc on (August 8, 2013, 2:53 GMT)

winning ranji trophy doesn't guarantee you place in India team look at mumbai they are virtually wining it almost every second year.

Posted by Naresh28 on (August 7, 2013, 22:08 GMT)

Nice to see the contributions of Kumble, Srinath, Ganguly and Dravid to Indian cricket in various capacities. These stalwarts including Tendulkar took India to No 1 in tests. Imagine if Zaks (bowling coach) and Dravid (batting coach) were doing jobs. BCCI can turn India into a magic unit.

Posted by loki897 on (August 7, 2013, 20:29 GMT)

that some good news on cricinfo at last!

Posted by Lalz on (August 7, 2013, 19:37 GMT)

Appreciable commitment from Kumble and Srinath off the field. Each and Every state must bring the seniors to the top for well-being of State Cricket. And for states which don't have capped former players, they can bring the former players from other states if there is a provision. And for domestic players we need to implement points/rating system like we have in Inernational scene - Bowler - batting - Allrounder ratings .. Thus we can find the upcoming talents in the country irrespective of States..

Posted by   on (August 7, 2013, 17:55 GMT)

gr8 work by kumble n co...shows its time to get state associations freed of politicians...we must get rid of them

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