Vinay Kumar: I'll return to Karnataka cricket and give it all back

Vinay Kumar represented Karnataka cricket from 2004-2019
Vinay Kumar represented Karnataka cricket from 2004-2019
Prasen Moudgal

In March 2015, the city of Bengaluru was buzzing with excitement and celebration as the Karnataka cricket team completed a historic treble, under the stewardship of Vinay Kumar.

What was a lot more special about the achievement was that it was the second consecutive treble for Karnataka cricket and for skipper Vinay Kumar, who was only into his 6th year as the skipper of the senior state team.

After running through strong opposition in the Vijay Hazare Trophy and Ranji Trophy, Karnataka picked up a mammoth 246-run win in the Irani Trophy, stamping their dominance as the team to beat in the coming years.

Under Vinay Kumar's leadership, the Karnataka cricket team was established as one of the finest sides in the country and it came as no surprise that every young pacer in the state looked up to the former captain for inspiration.

After playing 15 years of cricket for Karnataka since his debut in 2004, Vinay Kumar's announcement of his departure to Puducherry in August 2019 brought with it a whole lot of emotions.

That same year, Vinay Kumar led the Hubli Tigers to a title win in the Karnataka Premier League, but in the pacer's mind, it was time to let youngsters blossom and carve out a career for themselves.

"I went out of Karnataka to give opportunity to youngsters. I am following the game, I am always going to be there for Karnataka cricket to give my inputs. Once I finish playing cricket I will get involved in Karnataka cricket. Karnataka cricket has given me everything," Vinay Kumar said in an exclusive interview with Sportskeeda.

I am always there for Karnataka cricket: Vinay Kumar

A veteran of the sport with buckets of experience across match situations, it was no surprise that Vinay Kumar excelled in his first year with Puducherry. The speedster picked up 45 wickets for his side and topped the wicket-taker's charts for the team, apart from putting up some gritty knocks with the bat as well.

Although Vinay Kumar was still at his peak and was able to make the ball talk even on flat surfaces back in 2018-19, the pacer claimed that his motive to move to Puducherry was only so that the prodigious talents in Karnataka would get a chance to shine.

"I can play for two more years for with the same performance but why I left Karnataka was because it is not fair for me to block the path of the youngsters. I wanted to give an opportunity for youngsters to grow and perform for Karnataka. I thought that if they get some experience playing for Karnataka, a few of them might even play for India and I didn't want to block that growth. That's why I took that decision, but I am always there for Karnataka, I will come back, and whatever Karnataka cricket has given me, I will give back," Vinay Kumar added.

Edited by Habil Ahmed Sherule


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