Vinay Says Kumble, Dravid Gave Him Confidence

Bangalore, Mar 28 (IANS): Karnataka paceman Ranganath Vinay Kumar, who has made it to the T20 World Cup team, says whenever he doubted his ability to be an international cricketer he was reassured by Rahul Dravid and Anil Kumble that his time would come.

Like other cricketers, who have performed well in the domestic tournament and expecting a national call, Vinay had been waiting after his excellent debut in Ranji Trophy in 2004 when he took five wickets, including that of Sourav Ganguly.

Feeling disappointed when the call for the national team did not come, Vinay says he would ask Kumble and Dravid whether he was not up to the mark.

"They kept encouraging me saying your time will come, continue the good work," Vinay told media persons.

The 26-year-old started playing cricket when he was eight while his father Ranganath drove a three-wheeler for livelihood in Davangere, which was once famous for its cotton mills and was known as Manchester of Karnataka.

Eighteen years later with encouragement from parents, two younger siblings, a sister and brother, coaches and of course Kumble and Dravid, Vinay finally found a place in the Indian team, though for the shortest version of the game.

"My parents sacrificed a lot for me," Vinay has been saying since Friday afternoon after the selectors announced in Mumbai the final 15-member squad for the Twenty20 World Cup in the West Indies next month.

Ranganath no longer drives the auto for living. He now works in a private firm in Bangalore. Mother is a home maker, sister is an anchor in Bangalore centre of Doordarshan and brother is a commerce student.

The proud father wonders how he and his wife managed the family of five with his earnings without sacrificing Vinay's cricketing career as well as education of the three children.

Vinay's performance in domestic cricket and as part of Royal Challengers team in the IPL T20 series has earned him the nickname of 'Davangere Express'.

And it was distribution of sweets and bursting of firecrackers Friday in Davangere that marked Vinay's selection.

From Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa and Karnataka State Cricket Association president and son of former maharaja of Mysore, Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar to Royal Challengers and state team mates like Kumble, Dravid, and former India players Venkatesh Prasad and Sunil Joshi hailed Vinay's selection to the national team.


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