I salute Anil Kumble for his long, illustrious career and for keeping the Indian flag high. Sachin Tendulkar rightly called Kumble India's greatest match window.
Despite his magical figures of 619 Test wickets, 337 ODI wickets and a perfect 10 at the Ferozeshah Kotla ground in Delhi against India's arch rival Pakistan. Kumble always remained grounded.
His behaviour on and off field has been an example for others to follow in India and for cricketers around the world. The 38 years old, who started his cricket career under Mohammed Azharuddin in 1990 and played undet four others captains, responded admirably to all of them.
In his 18 years cricket career, Kumble never got embroiled in a controversy. His bowling with broken jaw on the West Indian tour in 2002 showed his commitment to the game. His handling of controversies in the last Australian tour says a lot about his spirited bowler. Kumble, who always silenced his critics by his bowling, is aptly called the man for all seasons.
While all the hyped cricketers failed to score a century on the last England tour, the leggie - who bats lower down the order - got his maidan Test ton after 17 years, that too at the historical Oval.
(This letter published in Mail Today on November 9, 2008)