Kumble had bowled 6 overs on the fourth morning without taking a wicket. Pakistan had been set an improbable 420 to win and only needed a draw to secure the series. At 101 for no loss they were well on their way.

After lunch Anil Kumble bowled 20.3 overs from the Pavillion End and ended up taking all 10 for 47. When Saeed Anwar went, Pakistan had collapsed to 128-6.

“That’s when I thought all ten was possible for the first time” said Kumble afterwards.

Kumble was carried off the field by his team mates as the crowd rejoiced. “We had won, was my first reaction.

No one dream of taking 10 wickets because you cant.”

Wisden, on undoubtedly Anils greatest day on the cricket field.

Anil Kumble was a complicated yet simple man. He was a cricketing intellectual. In 1990 he arrived, bespectacled, armed with an Mechanical Engineering degree and a deep mind.

Perhaps it was this background that led him to take up arguably the most intellectually challenging of all bowling forms.

Perhaps it was his methodical mind that influenced the very nature of how he bowled. It bred on patience and accuracy. Rinse and repeat.

He was a nerd, but a cool nerd who played cricket and was fucking good at it.

He was a leg spinner, but not quite.

He dint flight the ball, he dint drift the ball.

Hell 90% of the time he dint even spin the ball. Yet he ended up with a colossal amount of wickets.

Captained India.

And leaves the game as one the most respected to have ever played it.

During the mid 90s, leg spin was well and truly alive. While Warne and Mushy were spinning their into the history books, Anil just went about his business.

Day in day out.

Bowling line and length, getting it to nip a just that tad, which is all you ever need to get a wicket.

His longevity was underlined by the fact that he outlasted both Warne and Mushy in the end.

Anil was a giant of a man. He was the very definition of playing for your team. Never hunting personal accolades, whether he batted or bowled his commitment to India was unwavering.

If you asked him to he would bowl till his arm came off. Which he did.

Which is why he leaves us now see. He cant bowl anymore. If he could he would. Age caught up with him in the end. And that was the only way anyone was ever going to stop Anil.

His way or no way.

To me personally, Anils retirement does not only end a great cricketing career for India but it also closes a great chapter in crickets history. The last of the 3 great leg spinners of the modern era have performed their last trick.

There will be no encore.

There will be no one last hurrah.

Unless you count the IPL. (Which I’m sure you don’t)

Cricket will miss you Anil.

India will miss you.

I know I will.


  1. Buzzz said:

    who is the 3rd great leggie Dami ?

    November 5, 2008
  2. Damith S. said:

    Anil, Mushy, Warne.

    Unless you think Anil’s not that good.

    November 5, 2008

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