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All-rounder Kumble’s lesson for the youth

Q: What gave India’s most successful bowler his clinical and analytical approach to legspin?

A: His engineering background

A mechanical engineer, Anil Kumble successfully managed both academics and cricket and urged youngsters to do the same, sharing with them the secret of his success — “be happy with the choice you make”.

The first day of Eduquest 2012 saw former Indian captain Kumble interact with students at a seminar at Netaji Indoor Stadium on Saturday.

Through the story of his life, Kumble emphasised how he “chose cricket” and “followed it” to live his dream. “It isn’t easy to make choices but be happy with the choice you make. Believing in your abilities is the key, rather than pleasing anybody, and is more important than the result,” he said.

Despite coming from an orthodox family, where career options meant either engineering or medicine, Kumble succeeded in pursuing cricket.

“I had my commitment to engineering too. And to ensure that I didn’t lose a year, I had to pass my subjects with at least 50 per cent marks,” the Karnataka player said.

“My college and professors played a significant role in encouraging me. One professor used to give me private tuitions in my third year and I had to travel 15km from Bangalore for that. That was my focus and commitment to studies, maybe because I was determined to represent India in cricket,” he added.

Kumble advised the young generation to look up to somebody in family as the family plays an important role in nurturing an individual. “Family plays an important role, so I urge families to support their children in the decision they make. I was lucky my parents never pushed me and let me play my cricket,” he said.

Citing how he had sprung back after a particularly bad spell, Kumble asked youngsters not to be overcome by challenges in life. “I took calculated risks. I was always clinical and analytical in my approach with every ball I bowled, the angles and the variations. This is how I used my engineering skills, especially with the turns and trajectories of the deliveries,” he laughed.

Stressing that there was no single road to achieve one’s goal, he stressed that all hurdles could be crossed in life with commitment, hard work and discipline.

A wildlife photographer in his spare time, Kumble expressed his wish to return to Calcutta soon, with an exhibition of his photographs.