India's Test captain Anil Kumble announced his retirement from the international cricket during the fifth and the last day of the third Test against Australia Sunday. His decision caught the Indian cricket board completely off guard.
This will be Kumble's last international game for India and he will not travel to Nagpur for the last Test that begins Thursday. His deputy Mahendra Singh Dhoni will take charge in the final match.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was caught unaware with Kumble 's decision to end to his 18-year long illustrious career.
BCCI's secretary N. Srinivasan was shocked to hear the news of the 38-year-old's retirement.
"What, has he announced retirement? Don't worry if he takes any decision, he will consult with me," was Srinivasan's first reaction when contacted by IANS.
"I have not been informed about any such decision," he added.
The senior players in the side were facing pressure to call it a day after a disastrous tour of Sri Lanka. Former skipper Sourav Ganguly, before the start of first Test at Bangalore, decided to hang his boots after the final Test at Nagpur.
Though Kumble's decision was not too far off,no one expected it to come this way and that too in the middle of an important series in which India lead 1-0.
The giant screens at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium flashed one-liner saying "Anil Kumble has decided to retire after this match and will not travel to Nagpur for the final Test". The news took the media by surprise, as the Test headed for a draw.
Kumble, who was going through a long form slump and did not play in Mohali because of a shoulder injury, came to bowl Saturday after receiving ten stitches with his injured left-hand heavily bandaged..
Kumble is the leading wicket-taker for India and third highest in world with 619 wickets from 132 Tests.
He retired from the one-day cricket in March 2007 with 337 wickets at 30.89 in 271 one-dayers. His last game was against Bermuda in the World Cup where he took 3 for 38 in India's 257-run win.
Kumble is renowned for his 10 wicket haul in a Test innings against Pakistan in New Delhi in 1999, becoming only the second bowler to achieve the feat after Englishman Jim Laker. His best one-day performance was six for 12 against West Indies at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata during the Hero Cup tournament in 1993.
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