TRINIDAD: It's official now. Anil Kumble, India's highest wicket-taker, has announced his retirement from One-day cricket. The 36-year old made this known to his India team-mates at a team meeting on Monday night here at their hotel.
A member of the team said on condition of anonymity that the meeting had only two agendas – Kumble's retirement and discussion on team's travel plan to India.
“While we could sense it coming but when it actually came, it was shocking. It has been that kind of World Cup where the team has been getting one bad news after the other," this player said.
Sources informed that a public announcement to this effect will be made when the team returns home.
The right-arm leg spin-googly bowler has actually been on the verge of retirement from One-day cricket for quite sometime now. And many feel that the a disastrous World Cup tournament has only accelerated the matter.
"A shot at the World Cup was his last tryst with the One-dayers but the fact that he will be available for selection in the Test matches is a relief," said the player.
Kumble first thought it proper to inform the captain Rahul Dravid, vice-captain Sachin Tendulkar and coach Greg Chappell before making this announcement to the rest of his team-mates. Therefore just before the team-meeting at 7 PM on Monday evening called upon the trio and informed them. In the meeting he made a formal speech to the squad.
"He thank to all members of the squad for their help and support over the years. Anil bhai did look emotional but sure about his decision. He jokingly also thanked all the fielders and the wicket-keeprs who took catches off his bowling, made stumpings and also joined in those vociferous appeals," said a member of the team.
Though he has 337 wickets in 271 One-day Internationals but in last three to four years Kumble wasn't a sure starter in the shorter version of the game. Often it was Harbhajan Singh who has got a nod ahead of him in the team for the One-dayers. It is clear from the fact that he has played just 20 games in last four seasons picking 22 wickets.
The writer works for ESPN's Sportscenter