IPL a successful global brand, says Kumble

The Indian Premier League may be a soft target for critics but for former Indian captain Anil Kumble it is a global brand which has done enormously well in the nine years of its existence.

MEETING LEGEND: Anil Kumble interacts with budding players during a visit to the newly-launched KSFL-TENVIC Sports Coaching Academy at Greenfield Stadium in Kariyavattom on Wednesday.

The former player said he was proud to be associated with IPL and said he enjoyed his stint as player and as mentor in the league with different franchisees.

Kumble, who is in Thiruvananthapuram to visit the Tenvic Academy which started functioning at the Sports Hub in Kariyavattom last month, said it was deliberate decision to keep away from the ninth edition of IPL. “I have been associated with IPL for the last eight years.

“This summer I wanted to spend sometime with my family and I am enjoying it. I would be back for the IPL the next season,” he said.

Kumble said spin bowling in India was healthy and there was a lot of talent in the country as was evident from the performances of some spinners in the IPL though he said the game’s shortest version was not the right platform to judge a spinner as a Test match prospect. “For the last few seasons Ashwin has been bowling well. Amit Mishra is also doing well and Harbhajan Singh is still playing. There is Jadeja and some promising spinners who are doing well in IPL. I feel spin bowling in India is healthy,’’ said Kumble who also said he wasn’t surprised that spinners were doing well in T20.

“I always felt spinners have a big role in T20. It is about bowling a good line and trying variations,’’ he said.

Holistic development
On his new venture in Thiruvananthapuram, Kumble said he was happy with the response as about 140 kids had joined the academy without any great publicity.

“The infrastructure is fantastic and world class. We believe in holistic development of the kids. I always have thought that kids should first enjoy the game.

“We have started off with cricket and football and in due course of time more games will be added once other facilities like swimming pool and gymnasium start functioning,” he said.

Anil Kumble also interacted with parents and spent time with trainees at the academy. He also said he would be frequently visiting the centre in future.