Disappointment for Royal Challengers Bangalore fans and especially, admirers of its captain Anil Kumble. The prolific leg-spinner and former India captain on Tuesday pulled out of this weekend's Indian Premier League auction, citing his involvement in cricket administration and other commitments.
But owner of the team Vijay Mallya, was eager that Kumble at least play a backstage role and duly convinced him to take up the post of Chief Mentor. Mallya said that Kumble's inclusion in the RCB leadership panel will "provide a fresh dimension and perspective to our IPL strategy in the medium and long term".
Kumble, who was skipper of the IPL team in two seasons, in 2009 and 2010, said he was withdrawing from the January 9-10 auction because of business commitments, his association with cricket administration and wildlife at various levels
"I wish to withdraw from the players auction for IPL 4 scheduled for the 8th and 9th of January 2011 in Bangalore," said Kumble in an IPL release
"I have enjoyed my stint at the IPL so far and thank all concerned for the support extended," said Kumble, who was elected as Karnataka State Cricket Association president in November last year.
Kumble was not retained by RCB for this season and was among those players put up for auction with a reserved price of $4,00,000.
The former Indian skipper played a pivotal role in RCB's turnaround in the IPL. After being named captain for the 2009 season, Kumble led his team to the final of the Twenty20 league.
A year later, Kumble inspired his team to a third-place finish. As a result, the team qualified for the Champions League T20 tournament twice under his leadership. Kumble also took 45 wickets in the three editions of the IPL to demonstrate his value in cricket's shortest version.