Anil Kumble has quit his post as Chief Mentor of Indian Premier League outfit Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) with immediate effect. Kumble will now take up the same role with Mumbai Indians for the sixth edition of the IPL that will start on April 3, 2013.
This will be the first time in the short history of the IPL that Kumble will not be associated with RCB, having been a player and captain for the franchise from 2008-2010 and the Chief Mentor for the last two years.
In a statement, RCB said that both parties have taken a consensual decision “after considering various aspects; the parties have reaffirmed their mutual goodwill and have expressed satisfaction over the process of separation”.
The decision to switch to Mumbai Indians is connected with Tenvic, Kumble’s sports-management company, that was offered an opportunity with the Mumbai franchise.
“I have made this decision to take up a new assignment based on an opportunity that my company Tenvic has been offered,” said Kumble in a statement. “With this, we will be uniquely positioned to consolidate my passion with the interests of our partners to contribute to the growth of sport across disciplines, especially grassroots sport.”
Kumble said that he was leaving RCB with happy memories and thanked the team and the RCB fans in particular, in his parting statement.
“I have had an enjoyable association with RCB, as player, captain and mentor,” he said. “During this period we have achieved most of our objectives and RCB has emerged as one of the leading franchises in the IPL. I leave with happy memories. I am thankful to Dr Vijay Mallya for offering me the role of Chief Mentor, a position that allowed me to observe the challenges of being a franchise owner from close quarters and develop a nuanced perspective of the commercial elements of sport. I recollect with fondness my interaction with the team members, administrative and coaching staff of RCB. Finally, my wholehearted gratitude to the fans of RCB, whose infectious passion and energy was a significant component of whatever success we had as a team. It is only a calling for a greater challenge and potential for national impact that justified my separation from the RCB fans.”
Mumbai Indians welcomed Kumble on board, describing him as “a highly respected sportsman (the) world over for his enormous experience and cricketing intelligence”.
Kumble said Mumbai Indians was a “very competitive team in the IPL with high-profile players and committed owners” and said he was honoured to join them. He also stressed on the fact that the franchise and his Tenvic Sports venture had an aligned point of view “in making sports as an important agenda in youth development”.
Nita Ambani, the owner of Mumbai Indians, said, “In Anil Kumble, we have a new Chief Mentor who has extensive cricketing knowledge not only as a player of international stature but also as an able administrator. He is one of India’s leading sporting icons and we have great pleasure in having him on board.”