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Saturday, 9 August 2008

Anil Kumble: Achiever beyond any need for recognition

Let me admit, I am a fan of his, and a very proud one at that. And I am sure, he would have millions and millions of admirers like me, who would, not only admire his cricketing achievements, but also his gentlemanly behavior, and the way he carries himself, both on and off the cricketing field. He is a role model, and an inspiration to one and all. Yes, I am talking about the current Indian test cricket team captain, Anil Kumble.

I was planning to post an entry about Kumble in my blog, but kept postponing it for one reason or the other. But now, here it is. A couple of weeks ago, as India's ODI captain MS Dhoni got the Rajeev Gandhi Khel Ratna award for the year, many observers felt that the legendary servants of the game, like Dravid and Kumble, deserved it more. Indeed they did. But as always, I feel some legends grow beyond the need for any such recognitions, and Kumble, for sure, is one of them.

Post Indian Independence, the "Iron Man", Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, worked day in and day out to bring together various monarchies and provinces to form what we see today as the grand nation of India. Didn't he deserve a Nobel Peace prize for that? Kannada Author Dr. D.V. Gundappa (DVG), as already written in one of my previous entries, Deserved much more than a Jnanapeetha award that he never got, for the knowledge he possessed and literary works he produced.

Anil Kumble's determination, lion hearted performances, highly professional approach towards playing the game and representing the country, have earned nearly 1000 international wickets and over 3500 hard fought runs during a two decade old illustrious career. And of course, the captaincy was long overdue. The image of Kumble bowling with bandaged broken jaw to get Lara's wicket years ago, and the resolute with which he handled his team's controversies in Australia earlier this year, the unforgettable and majestic 10 wicket haul against Pakistan, are just three instances of countless moments of greatness, Kumble has provided. Didn't he, then, deserve the country's highest sporting honour? Well, in my view, even the country's highest civilian honour is not big enough for him. But the truth is, he is honoured every day, by millions around the world, through their admiration towards the great man, and that is the biggest recognition anybody can get...

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