Indian Premier League ( IPL) side Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) might be short of star Karnataka faces in their playing line-up, but the former runners-up have no such worry on the coaching front. A star-studded support staff is all set to feature in the RCB dugout this season with former India pacer and bowling coach Venkatesh Prasad joining his long-time India and Karnataka teammate Anil Kumble in the RCB ranks as coach.
Kumble, who captained the team last season, had assumed charge as chief mentor of the side in January. It’s a homecoming of sorts for Prasad, who was instrumental in Chennai Super Kings’ double triumph last season, with the MS Dhoni-led side winning both the IPL-3 and Champions League titles. Prasad had joined CSK as one of their coaches in 2009 after spending the inaugural season with RCB. Prasad was spotted at the KSCA on Saturday, sporting RCB colours and working with the Karnataka-based players in the side. However, he refused to divulge anything on his new assignment.
It is learnt that all that remains is for a formal contract to be inked. RCB had earlier retained the services of chief coach Ray Jennings for the third consecutive season and the South African is expected to be in Bangalore late next week.
Another notable fact of the development is that the KSCA administrators are extending their responsibilities to the field by opting for their respective roles in the RCB coaching staff. Kumble is KSCA president while Prasad is one of the vice-presidents of the association and also the chairman of the state senior selection committee. Another KSCA committee member, former India player and ex-Karnataka coach Vijay Bharadwaj, too is set to join the bandwagon as an assistant coach, primarily in charge of players who are not travelling for away games in the 10-team league.
The Karnataka players in RCB have begun their pre-tournament camp two days back and will be joined by other domestic players next week. Meanwhile, Dirk Nannes, one of the two Australian faces in the RCB squad, landed in Bangalore on Saturday. Fast bowler Nannes was part of the Australian World Cup camp as a reserve player, joining the four-time champions late into the league stage of the tournament.