Former Karnataka skipper Vinay Kumar, on Monday, announced he would leave Karnataka to join Ranji Trophy’s new boys Puducherry. Puducherry made their debut in the country’s elite first-class competition last year. Vinay Kumar has been associated with Karnataka since 2004 when he made his debut against Bengal in Kolkata.
While the right-arm pacer will go down in history as one of Karnataka’s greatest, he had a poor campaign last season. In seven games, he had managed to pick up only 14 wickets although Karnataka made it to the semifinal where they lost to Saurashtra. At the same time, Vinay Kumar had impressed with the bat, scoring three fifties. Midway during the season, he also had to concede his captaincy to Manish Pandey.
However, the veteran pacer has insisted the poor outing with the ball last season is not responsible for his decision to move away from Karnataka. He said he took the decision to make sure the youngsters get a chance in the team. He is also looking forward to the challenging task of representing a new team in Puducherry.
“It has been a great journey with Karnataka cricket. It is time for me to give a chance to young players. Venkatesh Prasad moved away to give me a chance when I came into the side as a 21-year-old. Now, it’s time for me to do the same. I can play for Karnataka a few more years but I am now looking at the bigger picture,” he said in a press meet conducted at the M Chinnaswamy stadium.
Vinay Kumar said he received the call from his former Karnataka teammate, coach and current Puducherry coach Arun Kumar. “J Arun Kumar and I share a good rapport. I will miss Karnataka but everything has to end. Puducherry team is just one-year-old and it will be a good challenge for me,” said Vinay.
Under Arun Kumar’s coaching, Vinay Kumar had led Karnataka to treble in 2013-14 and 2014-15. Karnataka had won the Ranji Trophy, Vijay Hazare Trophy and the Irani Trophy.
Vinay’s career in numbers
The former India pacer is one of the most experienced players in domestic cricket at the moment. He is ending his association with Karnataka after playing 106 first-class games for them. Vinay Kumar is second in the list of players with most first-class appearances for Karnataka. Former India spinner Sunil Joshi leads the list with 117 matches to his name. Overall, Vinay Kumar has played 130 first-class thus far and has picked up 459 wickets.
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