Two legends of our times chose to end their illustrious cricketing careers this month, Anil Kumble and Sourav Ganguly.
Anil Kumble, older of the two and the most hardworking chap the Indian cricketing field has ever produced, bid adieu in a dramatic way on November 2nd. His passion for the game was awe inspiring, and a motivation for the whole of a generation. He would be remembered always for his Commitment, Grit, Passion, never-give-up kind of attitude. Personally he was a soft and gentle person, but on field, a “Jumbo”, a terror! I share a special bond with this fellow, yes; I went to the same college as Anil Kumble, though much later in times. That way, I will be very much proud of him, my senior in college!
His performances for the country….just tremendous! He is arguably the best bowler India has every produced. He has won more test matches than any other bowler in our times. When I started watching cricket, he had started his career. And went on inspiring the nation even to today… Today, he has ended his career as one of the games’ legends, the only one who shared the stage with the legendary likes of Shane Warne and Muralidharan! He spearheaded the Indian bowling attack for over 16 years, invented new ways to bowl, delivered occasional quicker flickers, the googlies, feasting the opposition batsmen for lunch tea and dinner. He was insatiable throughout. The fact that he once ran over all the ten batsmen of Pakistan stands as a testimony to that statement.
Sourav Ganguly, aggression personified; a brilliant off-side player, and a gritty captain, has called his day today. He was a champion, named fondly and rightly by fans as the Prince of Kolkata! He had that royal spine which crafted the Indian team to be a superpower in the sport. His constant encouragement saw the advent of younger players into the team, and his aggression on field saw records being fumbled and created for India on home turf, and foreign land alike. He took the Indian team from a mediocre 7th position on ODI charts to too close to the world cup in 2003. For being the most favourite and most successful Indian captain, he was fondly called “Dada” (Elder Brother) of Indian cricket.
I’d tribute with my “Hats off” to these legends at our most depressive cricketing moment; Depressive because, we wanted them for more time, but as they say… all good things come to an end, and Yes.
To see both going away from International arena at the same time is something cricket lovers of India can not digest easily. Yet, it is our duty to thank them for every single joy they gave us, for every moment they made us proud, for every smile they created on all the faces of this lovely country.
We say Good Bye with our utmost heartfelt contention. Wish you luck and glory in your life after cricket. Thanks for all the glorious moments; those were enough for this lifetime!
Great quotes on these two legends:
"To become another Anil Kumble one will have to work really, really hard," - Sachin Tendulkar
“On the off side, first there is God and then Saurav Ganguly." - Rahul Dravid.
@To be aired shortly: Wait for a series of articles, writeups on my favourite test and one day moments from the era gone by, here on the backbencher's page!