My body gave me enough signals to call it a day: Kumble

November 2nd, 2008 - 9:05 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Nov 2 (IANS) An emotional Anil Kumble bid adieu to international cricket Sunday saying that his body gave him enough signals to call it a day.”The body was asking me questions everyday. It was not easy for me to keep bowling as I have doing for the last 18 years. And probably the injury that I had on my finger on the third day helped me to take this decision,” said the 38-year-old Indian Test captain, who announced his retirement on the final day of the drawn third cricket Test against Australia at the Feroz Shah Kotla here.

Kumble received 11 stitches on his little left finger, which he hurt while fielding on the third day of the match Friday. But he came to bowl the next morning with his hand heavily bandaged and took three wickets.

Kumble said he took the decision to quit Saturday night. Though Kumble’s retirement was not too far off, none expected it to come this way and that too in the middle of an important series in which India lead 1-0. He retired from one-dayers in March 2007.

The giant screens at the Kotla just after the tea break flashed one-liner saying “Anil Kumble has decided to retire after this match and will not travel to Nagpur for the final Test.”

Asked when did he break the news, Kumble said: “I informed all my team mates one by one during the day and then informed the chairman of selection committee (Krishnamachari Srikanth) just after the lunch and then the board. People who mattered the most to know that it was my last game.”

Kumble, who was going through a long form slump and did not play in the Mohali Test because of a shoulder injury. But the leg-spinner said that criticism from all quarters was not the main reason behind his sudden decision.

“Criticism is part and parcel of any sportsperson. I don’t think I took this decision based on the comments of people whether I should play or not. This criticism started 18 years back when people questioned if I could play just two Test matches for India.

“But looking back I feel that I have done really well for India. I am not the one who takes decisions based on criticism. But I was very difficult for me to take this decision,” he said.

Kumble, however, added that he would continue playing Twenty20 matches for Bangalore Royal Challengers in the Indian Premier League (IPL). “IPL is a contractual commitment and I have to take a call later. But in terms of international and first-class cricket, I am through.”

Asked what kept him going despite all the criticism for all these 18 years, Kumble said: “My self belief and my abilities kept me going. The team knew what I was capable of and the opponent also respected me. It very important to get respect in the dressing room and also from the opponents.”

Reflecting on his career, the Banglorean said the Australia series in 2004 and then the series win in Pakistan, West Indies and England were some of his memorable moments.

“But the most cherished moment in my life was my debut series in England under Azharuddin,” he recalled.

A bespectacled and studious-looking Kumble made his Test debut against England at Old Trafford in the August of 1990. He had to wait for another two years to come back in the side.

He fought his way back into the side in November 1992 in the historic series against South Africa but made his biggest impact in 1993 home series against England, where he had a series winning performance with 21 wickets from three Tests.

Kumble said that he would love to be remembered as a cricketer, who always gave his 100 percent.

“I don’t have any regrets in my career because I always gave my 100 percent every time I stepped on the field. I would love to be remembered like that and also as a player who always raised the bar for the team and for my 619 wickets,” he said.

Kumble said that he wouldn’t travel with the team to Nagpur but will be there to witness Sourav Ganguly’s farewell and V.V.S. Laxman’s 100th Test.

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