Kumble felicitated for his 600 Test wickets

March 25th, 2008 - 11:14 pm ICT by admin  

Chennai, March 25 (IANS) Control, which has been Anil Kumble’s forte throughout his 18-year international cricketing career, was very much evident here Tuesday night as he accepted felicitations and encomiums at a function to hail his milestone of 600 Test wickets. Accepting the specially crafted golden ball studded with 1,500 pieces of finest cut Belgian diamonds and rubies, from Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Sharad Paward, Kumble said: “It is a very emotional moment for me. It has been 18 long years of international cricket, competing against tough opposition and playing alongside some remarkable cricketers.”

He hoped that the recognition of his achievement would persuade the authorities to ensure a better balance between ball and bat in a sport that is distinctly oriented towards the batsmen.

“Hopefully, we will meet again soon to celebrate my 700 wickets,” he said in parting, but the statement only reflected his determination to continue for as long as he could.

The meticulous preparations that go into his bowling were also in evidence as he recalled with gratitude his first India captain, Azharuddin, first coach Bishen Singh Bedi, and of course, long-time friend Rahul Dravid who held most of the catches for him.

Kumble also made special mention of the wicketkeepers Kiran More, Nayan Mongia and Mahendra Singh Dhoni for their “valuable inputs” that helped him take wickets.

The Bangalore-based leg-spinner reached the 600-wicket mark in Australia earlier this year when he had Andrew Symonds caught in the slips by Dravid after the ball bounced off Dhoni’s gloves.

Pawar, in his presidential address, heaped praise on Kumble, underlining his leadership qualities that came to the fore during the acrimonious tour of Australia.

In fact, Pawar wondered tongue-in-cheek why Kumble was not given captaincy earlier. “This is not for Dilip (Vengsarkar, chairman of selection committee), but I did wonder as to why Kumble was not made the captain much earlier,” said Pawar.

Kumble’s first “roomie”, Ravi Shastri in his speech recalled Kumble’s champion qualities, and especially his modesty, while applauding the spinner’s achievement.

“I thought Kumble never received the recognition he deserved, but am happy that finally he has,” Shastri said.

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