Anil Kumble, the former Indian legspinner who also captained Royal Challengers Bangalore, has withdrawn from this weekend's IPL auction, citing business commitments. He had been among the 22 players with the highest reserve price of US$400,000 for the IPL auction to be held in Bangalore.
"It's a tough call but I had lots of things I had committed to," he told ESPNcricinfo. "I had a company to run, I wanted to be involved in other things. At some point of time you have to take a call and move on."
Kumble retired from international cricket in 2008, and remains India's leading wicket-taker in Tests (619) and one-dayers (337). In November 2010, Kumble won the election to become president of the Karnataka State Cricket Association, and he is also the vice-chairman of the state's wildlife board.
He said he would remain associated with the Bangalore franchise, but not as a player. "As long as you're playing, you can't really start focussing on other things that you want to do ... It's not easy but it's a step you need to take and that's what has happened."
In the IPL, Bangalore had a forgettable inaugural season under Rahul Dravid, and started poorly in 2009 with Kevin Pietersen at the helm. Kumble took over as leader midway through that season and helped turn round Bangalore's form, taking them to the final, and also captained them to the semi-finals last year. He was among the most effective bowlers in the previous two seasons, taking 17 wickets with an economy of 6.42 in 2010, and 21 at an economy of 5.86 in 2009.
The IPL's chief operating officer Sundar Raman tweeted that Kumble's absence would be felt. "Jumbo [Kumble's nickname] will be missed in IPL. Been an inspiration for many youngsters."