October 25, 2020
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'Never Say Die'

Hear it from the likes of Kapil, Sachin, Sourav, Laxman, Dravid, Ponting, Chappell, Vengsarkar and others

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'Never Say Die'
'Never Say Die'

"He must have decided (to retire) during the course of the day. He spoke to me during tea time and said that he has decided to call it quits. It's the end of an era. 
A lot of players in the team, I cannot tell you the names, were in tears when he told them his decision. It was an emotional moment for the team and me. He was an extraordinary cricketer, a great role model, not only for the youngsters but also for the future generations."

--Krishnamachari Srikkanth

"It's truly an honour and privilege to have played in the same era. He will remain an inspiration for the next generations. To become another Anil Kumble one will have to work really, really hard. In Antigua [when Sachin was captain] Kumble came into bowl with his jaw in bandage and got Brian Lara out. This is one match I can't forget. He is one sportsperson who has a big heart. I have not come across a greater cricketer, who is good so dedicated to his work." 

-- Sachin Tendulkar 

"He is an extraordinary man with extraordinary career. It's been a privilege to play with him. It was emotional for all of us but it's a great time to celebrate the farewell of one of India's greatest cricketers."

-- Rahul Dravid

"He has been a great role model. All of us are really proud to play with him. Even his last wicket, if you see, we were dropping sitters and he took that difficult catch." 

VVS Laxman.

"He would be missed by the team. Anil is probably topmost of all. In that way he will be missed. I do not think his boots will be easy to fill. It will take quite some time.  His coming out to bowl today despite the injury, taking that catch yesterday with 11 stitches in his hand and the hundred he scored at The Oval, there are lots of them. He is very special."

-- Sourav Ganguly

"Kumble was a real, out and out professional. It is definitely a sad day for Indian cricket. You won't realise the impact of his retirement now but when you won't hear his name after some days, you will his void. He decided to retire absolutely at the right time. A few days back I wrote in a column that you don't have to tell Kumble when to retire because being a true gentleman he knows when to take the call. Kumble left the game with utmost respect. He showed his true sportsmanship in Australia."

--Ravi Shastri

"Anil Kumble is a true fighter, always had this never-say-die attitude and is thoroughly a true gentleman. The way Kumble played the game will always be remembered. He never got involved in any controversy and whatever he did he did it to the best of his abilities. He was a great ambassador of cricket. It is for the players to decide when to call it a day. I don't think that there was any kind of pressure on Kumble to quit. I think it is time when we should talk about what he has done for the country. He played the game most professionally."

-- Kapil Dev

He is one of the finest spinners India has produced. He is a thorough gentleman, very strong minded, man of integrity and one not to be influenced by external forces. I think he pre-poned his decision in view of his injury problem.

-- EAS Prasanna

"I would like to congratulate Anil for his long and successful career. He is a great competitor and every single player of my team, who has played against him, is proud of the cricketer. I wish he will enjoy his time after the game."

-- Ricky Ponting 

"He is a fantastic a cricketer and a human being who played his game in the right spirit throughout his career. It is a sad day for Indian cricket. It actually came as a shock to us. We will have to wait and watch, how India copes up without Kumble"

--Allan Border 

"It is very difficult for somebody to get into his shoes. He is a cricketer who never compromised his dignity and always played with determination" 

--Ian Chappell 

"Anil has been an all time great bowler for India. His records speaks for themselves. He had a fantastic career. He was a match winner in the truest sense of the word. His conduct for the last 18-19 years has been exemplary. He has been an ideal role model for the youngsters. He was injured and probably knew that he won't play the last Test." [Asked about his comments to a news channel a day before where he said that the leg-spinner's time was up] "I did say but not in so many words, because all great player set high standard themselves. He knows when to quit."

--Dilip Vengsarkar

"I think the writing was in the wall. I could feel it was coming. It think he could have played the Nagpur Test but injury might have expedited his decision. Anyways, India is proud of you and I wish you happy retirement but I think although he has retired from International cricket, he has lots to offer in other aspects of the game."

--Bishan Singh Bedi 

"It is the right time for him to retire, the best time that Kumble would have looked for. He has done a great job for India and is leaving on a high. He has made his debut under me in the state. He has been a dedicated, sincere, honest, disciplined and good thinking and a great champion cricketer and on the basis on these I can say that I have literally seen him grow and establish himself as a icon and a legendary cricketer both on the field and off it"

--Syed Kirmani

"It has taken me by surprise. He could have played the Nagpur Test and could have gone after winning the series against Australia or even after the England series. It is a difficult decision for any player and he has taken it. Nobody is going to be his successor, no one can replace Kumble. He is one of the finest leg-spinners in the world. Over the years he had developed variety in his bowing by working hard. I rate him very high. I do not think it was because of any sort of pressure. Media is going to be with you every time. If your play well they will praise you and they will criticise you if you play badly. And I think, Kumble has taken it well in his stride. At the end of the day he is a gentleman."

--Madan Lal 

"Even some of the former cricketers had described that Kumble does not spin the ball but Kumble had disproved his critics in carving a niche as the highest wicket taker for the country both in long and shorter versions of the game. Kumble had lot of pride in playing for India for such long period of time."

--TA  Sekar

"Kumble is the greatest ambassador of the game and for the country. He has created a huge vacuum by announcing his retirement now and it will take a long time for cricketers to replace him. Indian cricket will miss him and it is a moment for his contemporary cricketers, all cricket loving fans and young aspiring cricketers to cherish his deeds for Indian cricket as a player and as a captain. Kumble had never led down his team and even today he had maintained that policy in retiring on health grounds. Even in his last Test match, Kumble had proved himself to be as an absolute cricketer and a gentleman at that" 

--W V Raman

"Anil has always been like this. I know Anil very well. He is a true champion and a great player for the country. He always has the same attitude towards the game whether he gets the wicket or not. I do not think so that it was a fall out of criticism, he has always silenced his critics. Kumble bowled his heart and mind on field. People were scared of him but I think India has enough talent to produce another Kumble. Some boy would come who would bowl like him. Of course he will be useful. He is most calm and composed on the field. I think he can do a fantastic job in grooming youngsters. This is something BCCI can look for.

--Kiran More

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