Kumble is ’simply a legend’, says Mahela Jayawardene

November 4th, 2008 - 12:38 pm ICT by IANS  

Colombo, Nov 4 (IANS) Sri Lanka cricket captain Mahela Jayawardene has hailed his outgoing Indian counterpart Anil Kumble as “a real fighter” and totally different from other greats of spin bowling.”Kumble is a real fighter and an amazing cricketer with a lot of talent and character,” Jayawardene said Monday night.

Anil Kumble, who led India in 14 Tests, announced his retirement from international cricket on the last day of the third Test against Australia in Delhi Sunday.

In 132 Tests, Kumble took 619 wickets, the most by an Indian and the third highest on the all-time list. He captained India to three victories, including the 72-run win at Perth against Australia in January.

Jayawardene, who has played against Australian spinner Shane Warne and compatriot Muttiah Muralitharan, said Kumble was “totally a different bowler altogether” as he bowls very accurately and with a lot of variety.

“I think Shane was an orthodox leg-spinner, who spun the ball quite a bit, while Murali is a genius. Kumble is simply a legend and is dangerous on a helpful pitch,” Jayawardene said in an interview with the BBC Sinhala language radio, Sandeshiya.

Jayawardene said Kumble was very well respected as a captain throughout the cricketing world and added that his retirement was a “loss to international cricket”.

“It is not easy to play for so many years and pick up thousand odd international wickets. He has always bowled to his strengths and the weaknesses of the batsmen. These special qualities make the difference between a bowler and a champion bowler. Kumble belongs to the second category,” the Sri Lankan skipper said.

Jayawardene described Kumble as “a very good leader”, who enjoyed the respect of his teammates.

“The respect he had from his teammates was evident on the ground. You cannot just earn that respect only through your cricketing ability,” said Jayawardene.

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