BENGALURU: The future of former Karnataka captain R Vinay Kumar, who had signed a one-year contract with Puducherry last season, remains unclear. The Cricket Association of Puducherry has signed batsman Sheldon Jackson (from Saurashtra), pacer Pankaj Singh (Uttar Pradesh), and retained Paras Dogra (Himachal Pradesh).
Alongside Vinay, KB Arun Karthik has also been released. A team can have a maximum of three outstation professionals. Vinay spent 15 years with Karnataka before making the Puducherry move. However, a return back to the eight-time Ranji Trophy champions looks unlikely as he does not want to block the way for youngsters. This was a reason he quit the team in 2019.
“Any day, I will be happy to play for Karnataka, but I left the team to give opportunities to youngsters. If I come back and play for Karnataka again, I will be blocking them (youngsters). The young bowlers did well last season. So coming back, I do not know… that is not going to serve my purpose,” Vinay told this daily.
Though Vinay, who has 504 first-class wickets against his name, might be without a domestic team at present, the 36-year-old is not losing sleep over it. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there is no clarity if and when the upcoming season will start. Vinay is keeping a close eye on the situation and wants to give importance to his family over other matters at the moment.
“It is hard to say anything (about future) at this moment because of the pandemic. I will just be adopting a wait and watch policy. I will be open to offers if any good opportunities ties come by, but for me, who is married and has a family, more than anything else, safety is going to be important. Also, if and whenever the season starts, I do not know how safe it is going to be,” Vinay added.
It remains to be seen if other teams come for the signature of the fast bowler. September 30 is the last date for interstate transfers.