Kumble quits cricket after third Test

on November 5, 2008 by Administrator

Anil Kumble, the captain of the Indian national cricket team, has retired from international cricket at the age of 38. He made the decision after his team drew the Third Test against Australia.

The player admitted that a serious finger injury suffered during day three in Delhi had encouraged him to make the choice to retire: “the body gave me the decision and the injury helped”.

The injury was sustained whilst the player was trying to catch a tough Matthew Hayden chance and numerous stitches were required to stem the flow of blood. In a typical attempt at humour, Kumble revealed that “you could see the flesh”.

However, retirement has certainly been on the cards for Kumble for a while now. During recent months, the player, who has been plagued with several injuries throughout his career (including a severe shoulder injury), has had to put up with endless speculation in the Indian media about when exactly he would choose to quit the sport. In many ways, the injury provided him with a convenient excuse and forced him to make a quick decision about his future.

Kumble retires with 619 Test wickets to his name and he has become a true legend in the world of cricket. He is also third in the all-time list of leading wicket-takers. Only Shane Warne and Muttiah Muralitharan have better tallies than the Indian legend.

Although the decision to retire was made quickly after his finger injury, he has admitted that it was not easy to walk away from the sport, “especially after 18 years when you have been so competitive”.

Influential figures in the world of cricket have been quick to praise Kumble. Ricky Ponting, the captain of Australia, was one of the first to comment. He believes that Kumble was “a great competitor” and will remain “one of the modern-day greats of the game”. Before ending his statement, Ponting made it clear that his thoughts were echoed by all members of the Australian team.

Mohammad Azharuddin has described the player as “remarkable” and extremely “hard-working”. The player’s current team mates showed their appreciation towards Kumble by carrying him off the field in Delhi, during which time he was able to bid an emotional farewell to his numerous fans. Kumble was keen to express his gratitude and stated that he has built some “great friendships and met some fantastic people along the way”.

It is not yet certain who will replace Kumble as captain of the national team. The impressive wicket-keeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni is hot favourite since he has led the team in Test matches before in the absence of Kumble. Furthermore, he is the captain of the one-day national side.

Whoever is picked to fill the void left by Kumble, they will face a tough test in motivating the players accustomed to the influence of such a legend in the world of cricket. VVS Laxman has spoken publicly about this unique influence: “he has been a great inspiration to me and will be for generations to come”.

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