Sunday, April 01, 2007

Adious "jumbo"

The curtains are finally down on the glittering ODI career of India's greatest matchwinner.Anil "jumbo" Kumble formally announced his retirement from the shorter version of the game in a sombre mood.The announcement was always expected,in fact probably delayed considering the treatment which had been meted out to him over the last 4-5 years by former captain Saurav Ganguly and present captain Rahul Dravid.
It was really sad to see that Anil Kumble had to bow out without the kind of farewell which he actually deserved.Inspite of winning umpteen number of matches for India,he had to warm the bench for most of the time after his shoulder surgery in 2001.What is more disturbing is the fact that his replacement Harbhajan Singh wasn't exactly picking up wickets by the dozen nor was he economical.But,Indian cricket has never gone by logic.Even seniors like Tendulkar,Dravid(during Ganguly's tenure as captain),Srinath and the selectors never said spoke a word against the shabby treatment meted out to this brilliant sportsman and above all complete team-man.The gentleman that Anil is,he too never spoke out.He just bided his time,waiting for whatever opportunity came his way to perform and give his 100 percent for the team.
One can never forget his metch-winning 6/12 against the West Indies in the hero cup final.Neither can we forget the sight of a completely bandaged and badly injured Kumble coming back to bowl an try to win a test match for India against the Windies in West Indies.He almost succeeded in helping India win.The phrase "gave his sweat and blood for the team" suits him to the T. The sight of him spitting out blood after almost every over and disregarding the physio's advice to go back to the dressing room will always remain etched in every cricket lovers's memory.No wonder he got a standing ovation from the crowd after he completed his spell of 14 harrowing overs which got us the wicket of Lara and almost had Carl Hooper(only to be denied by the umpire this time).
What really pains me is that a player like Kumble would have been treated like a gem had he played for a country like Sri Lanka,New Zealand,West Indies or South Africa.We are a country of a billion crciket crazy fans who make demi gods out of a Dhoni,Yuvraj,Saurav or Pathan and relegate playesr like Kumble to the backburner.Critics might say that Kumble had slowed down in the field,could'nt bat much and his bowling wasn't as potent as it used to be.My answer to that is "How many wickets did his replacements pick up? How many more half centuries did they score?How many matches did they win for India?".The outcome of the matches against Bangladesh and Lanka could have been different had Anil been a part of the playing eleven.Even the finals of World cup 2003 might have been different.Anil's fighting attitude and dedication was what made him stand out in a team which boasted of a plethora of stars and demi-gods.A person of his stature could have contributed to Indian cricket in more qualitative terms than he was allowed to.Thankfully though he still has the urge to play test cricket for the team.Any other player in his place might have quit in disgust at the way things have unfolded over the last 4-5 years.But,Anil has never been like that.The team man in him would never allow him to speak out against the team management.The fact that he defended his teammates even after the world cup dream was shattered only shows how his heart beats for the good of Indian cricket and his teammates.


Blogger aditya said...

Hey Pranav, you just stole my topic! Anyway, you have accurately mirrored my thoughts. Anil Kumble is not only an excellent cricketer but also a fantastic person.

I am of the opinion that, legends are to be treated with respect. You don't keep legends on the bench. As rightly pointed out by you, Kumble has always been a team-man, sitting on the bench for almost all the matches during the 2003 and 2007 World Cups.
The fact of the matter has been that Kumble has been a very down-to-earth cricketer who has always maintained a low profile. What catapults the other nobody's into the limelight is their one-off performance followed by the inane advertisements they do and also a lot of media coverage aptly managed by their publcists. Kumble has always shied away from unnecessary attention and focussed only on his cricket!

What was the point in not selecting Kumble for the ODIs after the 2003 WC, and then recall him for the 07 WC, only to make him sit on the bench? This is audacious tomfoolery!

Kumble is one of those rare cricketers who has always given 100% and been a true team-player. I am very happy that he has retired, and avoided subsequent ignominies! Here's wishing him a successful and prosperous life ahead. Cheers to JUMBO, not for the scalp of 6/12 against WI, not for the once-in-a-lifetime match haul of 10 wickets, not even for contributing immensely when the going got tough. But cheers to a person who displayed great sportsmanship and for believing that "The team comes first!". All of us will miss you. Thamks a lot for the rich heritage you are leaving behind.

10:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i know u love kumble a lot... infact more than his wife... but i think he is the best feiler that india cud have ever produced.. seriously.. he got the "use ur knee to stop the ball" culture into indian cricket..... he got the " bat like crane" attitude too to batting....
cheers to kumble.....

-the devil

11:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ohh ya i forgot...
Kumble ki maa ki aankh!!!!!

--the devil

12:46 AM  
Blogger The Devil's Paradise....... said...
sirji.. aapke vichar hummee aage badnemein bahut sahayta karenge.. krupaya visit karen and hamme dhanya karen....

-- shreedhar

10:32 AM  

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