Anil Kumble has joined Mumbai Indians as their chief mentor, stepping down from a similar role at Royal Challengers Bangalore. Kumble has been associated with Royal Challengers since the start of the IPL and explained that the move was related to his talent management firm Tenvic Sports.
He takes over from former South Africa captain Shaun Pollock and joins Mumbai Indians two weeks before the IPL auction, which is scheduled for February 3. Pollock started at Mumbai Indians as a player in 2008, before taking over as mentor.
"I have made this decision to take up a new assignment based on an opportunity that my company, Tenvic has been offered," Kumble said. "In my discussion with Reliance Group Management (the owners of Mumbai Indians), I find that they have a great and compelling vision for sports in this country, which aligns with my venture Tenvic Sports' aspirations in making 'sports' as the main catalyst of youth development."
Kumble has captained Royal Challengers to the final in 2009, and taken them to the semi-finals in the next year. "I have had an enjoyable association with RCB, as player, captain and mentor. During this period we have achieved most of our objectives and RCB has emerged as one of the leading franchises in the IPL."
Kumble, India's highest wicket-taker in Tests and ODIs, is also president of the Karnataka State Cricket Association, which has been closely related with Royal Challengers in setting up cricket academies across Karnataka.
In 2011, controversy arose over Kumble's co-ownership of Tenvic that had on its books several young players who had been part of India squads but Kumble consistently denied any conflict of interest between his administrative and mentoring roles.