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Kumble quits international cricket

Harish Kotian | November 02, 2008 15:00 IST
Last Updated: November 02, 2008 20:05 IST

India Test captain Anil Kumble [Images] announced his decision to quit international cricket at the end of the third Test against Australia [Images] at the Ferozshah Kotla in Delhi [Images] on Sunday.

He was given a guard of honour by his team mates before entering his favourite ground to bowl for one last time in Australia's second innings in the afternoon. The fans at the Kotla too gave him a standing ovation.

"Delhi has been special for me and I thought it fitting to finish my career here," he said of his decision.

It was at this venue that Kumble took all 10 wickets in an innings, against Pakistan in 1999, to become only the second bowler to achieve the feat after Englishman Jim Laker.

The 38-year-old finished as the third highest wicket-taker in the world with a haul of 616 wickets in 132 Tests that included eight 10-wicket hauls and 35 five-wicket hauls.

The veteran leggie was struggling to find his peak form recently and struck with fitness problems.

Anil KumbleKumble was taken to hospital during the third day of the third Test after suffering a deep cut on his left little finger while attempting a sharp catch at short midwicket. He was discharged on Saturday after surgery, after which he bowled in Australia's first innings and somehow claimed three wickets.

He also missed the second Test in Mohali because of a shoulder injury sustained during the first Test in Bangalore.

Incidentally, Mahendra Singh Dhoni [Images] led the team to a convincing 320-run victory and since then pressure has mounted on Kumble to call it quits. The Indian wicketkeeper and ODI captain will now lead the side for the fourth and final Test against Australia in Nagpur, beginning on November 6.

There were several calls for Kumble to end his Test career, including one from former chairman of selectors Dilip Vengsarkar, who believed the leggie was past his prime.

"Kumble has been a great servant for the country for the last 18 years but he has not done anything of note in the last few matches. His time is up now. Kumble looked completely off colour in the third Test in Delhi and I don't see him captaining the side after the final Test in Nagpur," Vengsarkar told Indian television channel News 24.

The leg-spinner made his Test debut, against England [Images] at Manchester in August 1990. He was appointed Indian Test captain in November last year and led the team with great distinction during the controversy-marred tour of Australia.

He retired from One-Day Internationals last year after India's early exit from the 2007 World Cup. He played 271 ODIs, claiming 337 wickets with a best of six for 12.

Former India captain Sourav Ganguly [Images] has already announced that he would be retiring from international cricket after the fourth and final Test against Australia at Nagpur.

Complete coverage: Australia in India 2008

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