11 November 2008

Adieu Jumbo, Dada!

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!


ರಾಜೇಶ್ ನಾಯ್ಕ said...

it is difficult to replace anil and saurav. but younsters will comeup and hope they match the legacy left behind by these two. it is difficult but for the good of India lets hope so. this article made good reading. these 2 have left behind some amzingly good cricketing memories.

Srik said...

Rajesh, people will come and stay. It would be better for them to be themselves, rather than becoming a replacement for the retired ones. There would be burden on them if they try to be one!

Raghu!! said...

I agree with you Srik! People first have to be themselves and take the inspiration from the best they think..
Very nicely written article...I felt like reading again n again...may be it is inspiring :)

Srik said...

Thanks Raghu :-)

Also, It is very hard to replace legends like Anil and Sourav. We will face similar problems in future when Rahul and Sachin opt out. But they are also human and they too wear out. We need to respect that and try to give opportunity to younger people who will bring glory to country in their own way!