Friday, August 20, 2010

Kumble hails test cricket

Test Cricket is the pinnacle of the game, and the advent of twenty over cricket, has boosted the five day game, making it more attractive to fans.

That’s according to former Indian legspinner, Anil Kumble, who was guest speaker at a special dinner during the CSA Annual Conference on Thursday night, attended by administrators, coaches, and players, including Proteas captain Graeme Smith, and fellow Proteas, Johan Botha, JP Duminy, Alviro Petersen, Paul Harris and Morne Morkel.

Kumble said: “I have had the privilege of playing for India for a number of years, and there is no doubt that the best form of the game remains the Test Cricket format. At the same time, T20 cricket has helped significantly boost the image of the longer version of the game.

“Just a couple of years ago, 250 was a good score to post at the end of a day’s play in a test match. Now, Virender Sehwag can score those runs in a single day’s play. It has certainly made the test cricket offering more attractive.”

Kumble, who also touched on various issues facing international players in the changing landscape of cricket, saying youngsters need as much support as possible to assist them in reaching their full potential.

“There needs to be a lot of hand holding and mentoring. The pressure facing international cricketers is immense. Aside from the actual cricket commitments, there are media requirements, sponsor activities, and various other social engagements on any given tour, and it is not easy to maintain composure, if a cricketer does not have the right support.”

Kumble, who earlier in the day, spent a few hours with the country’s up and coming spinners at a CSA High Performance Spinning Clinic, sponsored by Sedgars Sport, said he was impressed by the spinning talent in South Africa.

“There are some good young spinners coming through the system in South Africa, and I was impressed by the enthusiasm shown, and the talent on display at the clinic today.

“Perhaps, now that Graeme Smith has resigned as T20 captain, and will step down as ODI captain after next year’s World Cup, he will get more opportunities to turn his arm over.”

Kumble also revealed that he is planning a spinning academy with Sri Lankan spin king, Muttiah Muralidaran, which he hopes will have an impact on the state of slow bowling internationally.

The 2010 CSA Annual Conference is set to conclude tomorrow with the Annual General Meeting, where CSA’s financial results for the 2009/2010 season is announced.

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