India’s legendary leg-spinner, Anil Kumble was recently honoured by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for his achievements in international cricket. The ICC released a video to mark the occasion where the two Sri Lankan greats, Kumara Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene, can be seen hailing the former cricketer.
Sangakkara revealed that Kumble used to give him ‘sleepless nights’.
“Kumble has given me a few sleepless nights as a batsman. He was not your orthodox leg-spinner. This big, tall gangly bowler running in and bowling with very high arm action. Bowling fast, bowling straight and accurately. It was not at all easy to get him away for runs. A lot of bounce… he had great pace on the ball and if there was any rough on a length, the batsman had very little chance of getting away. Lovely guy, very intense cricketer but an absolute champion for India and world cricket,” Sangakkara said.
His teammate and former SL skipper Jayawardene can also be seen lauding the Indian legend observing that the Bengaluru-born always had a plan for the batsmen.
“Knew exactly what his strengths were. Didn’t go away from that and just kept asking questions from the batsman. If you were a batsman facing Anil, you knew that he always had a plan for you,” Jayawardene said.
Kumble is one the most successful bowlers of all time and is the third-highest wicket-taker in Tests behind Shane Warne and Muttiah Muralitharan with 619 wickets. The 50-year-old also has one Test hundred and five half-centuries to his name, with his top score being 110 not-out against England in 2007.
Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram was also spotted in the video sharing his thoughts on the Hall of Fame inductee.
“I remember he got 10 wickets against us, in India in Delhi in an innings. I was the 10th wicket, I still remember like it was yesterday. A very difficult bowler, unlike any other leg spinner,” Akram asserted.