The 5-time IPL Champions, Mumbai Indians, have reached an agreement to appoint Former Indian pacer Vinay Kumar as the franchise’s Talent Scout. This came after Mumbai Indians had roped in former wicketkeeper-batsman Parthiv Patel to their talent scouting division during the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy earlier in the year.
The 37-year old former Karnataka Cricket stalwart announced his retirement from all forms of cricket in February. The announcement put an end to a glorious cricketing career that lasted for a good part of two decades, 17 years to be precise. During this span, Vinay Kumar represented India in 31 ODIs, 9 T20Is and a single test match against Australia in 2012. Vinay’s international career was short and only lasted for 3 years, after making his debut against Zimbabwe in 2010.
Upon the confirmation of the agreement, Akash Ambani, Owner of Mumbai Indians, expressed his thoughts over this acquisition and said, “I am delighted to have Vinay join our talent scout programme. Mumbai Indians is established on strong fundamentals of discovering talent and belief in nurturing youth. I am confident Vinay will add value to our ideology and scouting strength.”
Vinay Kumar’s domestic career had much more accolades engraved. The right-arm medium-fast bowler captained his Karnataka side to two consecutive Ranji Trophy titles in 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons. He also represented multiple franchises in the IPL, including Royal Challengers Bangalore, Kolkata Knight Riders and his new employers Mumbai Indians. He spent three years at the Mumbai based franchise and was a part of two winning campaigns in 2015 and 2017.
On joining the talent scouting division of Mumbai Indians, Vinay Kumar communicated his feelings on the prospect of working with the franchise and added, “I am honoured for this opportunity to associate with Mumbai Indians again. Mumbai Indians strive for excellence in every aspect of the game, and scouting talents is undoubtedly their key strength. It’s a new chapter, and personally I reckon it as an opportunity for me to give back to cricket.”
Mumbai Indians’ on-field success has a lot to do with the background planning and way of working. It is a team that believes in identifying young, raw potential through grassroots cricket and develops these youngsters into high profile players. Names like Hardik Pandya and JaspritBumrah are prime examples of Mumbai’s excellent developmental strategy. Seldom do you see Mumbai acting very enthusiastic on the auction table for a marquee player.
According to Mumbai Indians’ head coach Mahela Jayawardene, the franchise’s scouts monitor talents for multiple years. He added, “We have a group of individuals who work throughout the year, watching games, spotting players. Not only locally but we do have the same kind of network overseas as well. And it’s not just instant decision-making. Marco Jansen (South African left-arm pacer) is a classic example. We have monitored him for the last three years.”
Vinay Kumar will start working with the franchise immediately and will be seen within the MI management when the IPL resumes in September. Mumbai will restart its campaign against their fierce rival Chennai Super Kings on September 19.