LONDON: Former Indian captain Anil Kumble was appointed head of the influential “cricket committee” of the International Cricket Council (ICC) on Thursday as former England captain Andrew Strauss accepted a role with cricket’s governing body following his shock retirement.
Strauss stunned the sport when he retired in August in the aftermath of the Kevin Pietersen row, which coincided with England losing their position as the world's top-ranked Test team.
Pietersen sent provocative text messages to South African players reported to have contained criticism of Strauss and the mentally drained skipper decided to walk away following his team's Test series defeat against the Proteas.
But it was felt even then that Strauss, who captained England in 50 Tests and led the team in two successful Ashes campaigns, would return to the game in a more political role.
The 35-year-old's appointment as one of two past players on the ICC's cricket committee was supported unanimously by the world game's governing body.
Strauss has replaced former West Indies pace bowler Ian Bishop, who did not seek an extension to his term.
Kumble, 41, who replaced West Indies’ Clive Lloyd, is the world's third-highest wicket-taker in Tests with 619 scalps, behind Sri Lankan Muttiah Muralitharan (800) and Shane Warne (708). He also took 337 One-Day International wickets.
The ICC's 16-member cricket committee meets twice a year to consult on playing matters and offer recommendations to the ICC.
ICC president Alan Isaac said: “In Anil Kumble, we have a new chairman who has unquestioned experience not only as a player with India but also as an administrator with Karnataka State Cricket Association as well.
“I am sure that he will carry on Clive's good work and bring, like Andrew Strauss, contemporary thinking to the committee, and both understand clearly the issues facing the modern game.”