India's legendary spinner Anil Kumble is undoubtedly one of the best bowlers the game has seen. There are very few who can match his achievements which include many a records. His retirement from international cricket was a significant milestone in the sport's rich history as he will forever be remembered as a fierce competitor and a true sportsman to have ever played the sport.
Born on 17th October 1970 in Bangalore, Kumble was a strong student and showed a knack for cricket from a very young age. He started playing competitive cricket at the age of 13 when he played for a 'street club' called Young Cricketers in Bangalore. He played his first class game in 1989 when he played for Karnataka against Hyderabad. His good performances at the domestic leagues as well as in the under 19 tournament earned him a call to the national One Day side. He made his ODI debut on April 25, 1990 against Sri Lanka in Sharjah during the Australasia Cup. The same year, he made his test debut against England.
Every cricketer's dream is to feature in the Cricket World Cup and Kumble, a veteran of several World Cups, will be remembered as a star performer for India. His most memorable tournament was the 1996 World Cup held in the Indian sub-continent. Kumble ended the tournament as the highest wicket taker, bagging 15 wickets in all. The 10th match of the tournament saw Kumble at his best when India played against West Indies. The spinner rattled the West Indian middle order, bowling out three batsmen which included the wicket of dangerous all rounder Roland Holder for a golden duck. Kumble almost replicated the feat against Kenya when he crippled the last hope of the African nation by taking the wickets of Hitesh Modi and Thomas Odoyo in quick succession.
Kumble took part in the 2003 and 2007 editions as well and made his presence felt especially in the former tournament. He retired from ODIs after India's dismal outing in the 2007 World Cup hosted by West Indies.
Apart from his incredible performances in the World Cups, Kumble's list of achievements in his highly successful cricketing career is staggering. His 10-wicket haul in a test match inning against Pakistan in Delhi in February 1999 is perhaps the most memorable of them all. He is the only player, other than England's Jim Laker, to achieve this feat. Kumble was also a successful Test captain for India from November 2007 to 2008. He announced his retirement from international cricket on November 2, 2008 after representing India for 18 years.