New Delhi: Former India cricket captain Anil Kumble has quit as chairman of the National Cricket Academy (NCA) after Indian cricket board members at a meeting Monday raised the question of a "conflict of interest" in his wearing multiple hats.
Kumble, though, publicly defended his role as director of a player management firm named Tenvic, and said it did not come in the way of his holding administrative posts either in the Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) or in the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
Critics pointed out that Kumble, who is the KSCA president, chairman of the NCA and a mentor with the Indian Premier League (IPL) team Royal Challengers Bangalore, is in a position to influence the selection of players managed by Tenvic.
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At the meeting, Kumble apparently had a brush with senior board officials over the issue before he offered to quit and his resignation was accepted. Former BCCI treasurer M.P. Pandove, chairman of Specialised Academies, has been named interim NCA chairman.
The "conflict of interest" was highlighted by Outlook magazine, citing that India medium-pacer from Karnataka Vinay Kumar and state new ball bowler Sreenath Aravind, who was in the India sqaud for the England series, were signed by his management firm.
It was felt that as KSCA president, Kumble is in a position to appoint selectors who could be picking players who have been contracted by Kumble's company. Also as RCB mentor, his decisions could benefit the players signed by him.
Kumble tried to clear the air when he spoke to TV channel CNN-IBN and said that if his company was an event-management firm out to make big money, it would sign top India cricketers, not promote budding players.
"I would like to certainly clarify that I am no player-manager, nor is my company a talent management company. That needs to be very clear," he said.
"If I was a businessman, if I was looking after a talent management company, then I would go after the top international stars. The job of Tenvic is mentoring cricketers and we don't have all the Karnataka players. It's those two (S.Aravind and Vinay Kumar). And as chief mentor of the RCB, we do mentor Indian players who represent Royal Challengers."
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Kumble launched Tenvic, coined after Kumble's Perfect Ten in an innings in 1999, in January to promote not only cricket but all sports, along with his brother Dinesh and former table tennis player Vasanth Bharadwaj as its directors.
Denying that there is any conflict of interest, Kumble said his positions with the KSCA and the NCA are honorary in nature and that he had to take care of his interests at this stage of his life.