One of Karnataka’s most storied cricketers, Vinay Kumar is pulling the curtains down on his home state after he announced that he will be representing Puducherry in the upcoming domestic season. According to Vinay, this move was taken with the best interests of Karnataka in mind - wherein he wanted to give the talented youngsters in the state a go.
Having made his debut as a 20-year-old in 2004, Vinay Kumar has also represented India in all three formats, claiming 49 international wickets from 41 matches. In his final match for Karnataka, Vinay Kumar helped his side claim their maiden Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.
Vinay also stated that he will be a mentor-cum-player for Pondicherry.
“It’s high time that I give chance to youngsters. I was 21-years old when I came to Karnataka. Venkatesh Prasad retired and I came in his place and I went on to play for India. Whatever I could do, I did for my state and country. I am just moving from Karnataka to play for another state,” said the former Karnataka captain.
“Many great fast bowlers from Karnataka are coming up. If I can just give my place to them, you never know, they might end up playing for the country. I am going to miss Karnataka. I am going to play for another state for few more years, but I am looking at the bigger picture, where I can give an opportunity for the youngsters. The KSCA management were kind enough to allow me to play for another state,” he added.
Manish Pandey was appointed Karnataka captain mid-way last season. Vinay says that it was a calculated move done in consultation with the KSCA. “We had a talk with the KSCA management before the season. We wanted to smoothly hand over the baton to Manish. He is doing really well as a captain. He is part of the current Indian team. Most of them have played with Manish Pandey and they are in his age-group and he can get the best out of them. It is working really well.”
Talking about his favourite individual moments of his Karnataka career, Vinay picked out three that stood out - when his six wickets helped his side bundle Mumbai out for a paltry 44, when he picked up his best bowling figures of 8 for 32 against Delhi in 2009-10 and lastly, his hat-trick against Mumbai at Nagpur in December 2017.
Overall, Vinay picked up 410 wickets from 108 matches at 22.20, which included 21 five-wicket hauls for Karnataka at the First-Class level. With the bat, he has also slammed a couple of handy centuries. He has also picked up 175 limited-over wickets for his state.