Sunday, November 02, 2008

Adios Anil

I woke up this morning to two things (or rather transitions) which made me pause and go "Wow!". The first one of course was the change from daylight savings to standard time. The other one, was a stopped me dead in my tracks.
Anil Kumble began his playing career (for India) sometime in 1990, when he was part of the squad at the Australasia Cup - an age when we had to rely on Teenage Video Library for highlights of various cricket tournaments on video cassettes. At that point, he was just another bespectacled spinner and I cannot remember him being hailed as the next Bedi/Chandra/Prasanna (not unlike another Aussie bloke, who had a rather unremarkable start to his career). After looking at his Test and ODI profile on Cricinfo, he was in and out of the team until the home series against England in 1992-93.
It was in this series that he 'came of age', bamboozling the best (not necessarily the brightest) boys from the Old Blighty, in tandem with Venkatapathy Raju and Rajesh Chauhan. I remember watching that series and growing to like the man - partly due to the fact that he was born exactly a decade before I was, but mainly due to his simple, unassuming demeanor (the wickets and matches won were always there).
A lot has been said about his heroics, with the bat and ball, with a bum jaw and cut left hand. But for me, the moment that is another critically 'defining' one for Kumble was the camp held for the Indian players before they faced the Aussies at home, in 2001. Everyone knows Kumble was just recovering from shoulder surgery, but there he was at IIT-Chemplast, arm in a sling, taking an active part in the preparations. He could easily have been elsewhere, but battled it out in the hot sun, deep in a discussion with a young bloke in a puggree while a weather-beaten New Zealander looked on admiringly. [I am guessing someone will bring this point up in his/her tribute to Kumble].
It is sad to see good ol' Kumbles move on, but what brought a smile to my face (and perhaps his) was the fact that he did it with DIGNITY. That too, on his favorite hunting ground at the Kotla, with Sachin handing over his cap one last time to the umpire!
If there was one song that comes to mind for Kumble, it is Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Simple Man":
And be a simple kind of man.
Be something you love and understand.
Be a simple kind of man.......
Forget your lust for the rich mans gold
All that you need is in your soul,
And you can do this if you try.......
Boy, dont you worry... youll find yourself.
Follow you heart and nothing else.
And you can do this if you try.
All I want for you my son,
Is to be satisfied.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

when is your next blog post coming up?