Spin legend Anil Kumble, who achieved stratospheric heights in cricket in national colours while also plying his trade in the Indian Premier League (IPL), shared memories from the time when he was signed on to feature for the Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) by former owner Vijay Mallya in the 2008 auction. In the inaugural IPL auction, Kumble went under the hammer after he was not included in the initial list of icon players. Batting talisman and present India head coach, Rahul Dravid, featured in the list of the RCB’s icon players, ahead of Kumble, who was nicknamed ‘Jumbo’ during his playing days.

Kumble, who holds the record for scalping all ten wickets in a single innings in Test cricket alongside England’s Jim Laker and New Zealand’s Ejaz Patel, was picked up by the RCB at his base price after Mallya insisted at the auction that ‘nobody’ was to touch him as “he’s my Bangalore boy”.

“Yeah I mean it was one of those things where I was the captain of India in the Test and for some reason I was not a part of the icon list so I was a part of the auction. Which I obviously didn’t participate in but my name was in the auction list. I remember somebody telling me that as soon as my name came up it is not how it is like now when my name came up Mr Vijay Mallya just stood up and said he’s my Bangalore boy. Nobody is touching him and that was the end of any other bid coming. I think that was the base price that I was bought at and there was no auction dynamics that you see today. So that was what I was told there were no (other buyers) because the owner just stood up and said no way, no way he is going anywhere else other than Bangalore,” Kumble said during a heart-to-heart chat with Ravichandran Ashwin

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on the latter’s YouTube channel.

During his three-year stint with RCB, Kumble made 42 appearances for the Bengaluru franchise, picking up 45 wickets at an average of 23.51 and an economy of 6.58.

For the better part of his career, Kumble predominantly featured in Test and ODI formats, as T20Is came into the cricketing currency during the latter stages of his career.

On the challenges he faced in changing his approach from the longest format of cricket to the shortest format, ahead of the inaugural IPL season, Kumble recalled, “For me, it was quite a challenge to get my mind around to bowl just four overs because the time that I started playing I needed four overs to warm up. The body required that kind of overs to bowl 55 to 60 overs in a Test match on an average and to come back to think that if you end up bowling 60 overs you would be done with the tournament. It was not easy for me to change that mindset. But it became very evident that the best way to approach my four overs would be try and choose the most challenging ones. That’s how you probably get more into the game rather than just thinking that bowl four overs, end your spell and then wait for the batters to do their job.”

In the second season of the cash-rich domestic league, the RCB made it to the final but fell at the final hurdle against the Deccan Chargers, a Hyderabad-based franchise that no longer features in the IPL.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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