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My wife thought I was probably joking: Anil Kumble on bowling with broken jaw

Kumble rates Brian Lara as one of the toughest batters he had bowled to, as the Prince of Trinidad had three shots for one delivery

PTI New Delhi Published 13.07.23, 08:13 AM
Anil Kumble bowls with a broken jawin Antigua in 2002 as Brian Lara looks on. 

Anil Kumble bowls with a broken jawin Antigua in 2002 as Brian Lara looks on.  Twitter

Chethana, Anil Kumble’s wife, thought he was “probably joking” when the Indian spin great, with a bandaged face and a broken jaw, decided to challenge the likes of Brian Lara during the Antigua Test in 2002.

Kumble rates Lara as one of the toughest batters he had bowled to, as the Prince of Trinidad had three shots for one delivery.

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But Lara’s reputation was not good enough to stop Kumble from producing one of the bravest acts in cricket, as he sent down 14 consecutive overs and dismissed the batting legend with a wired jaw.

“I told my wife, Chethana and I called her up. When we spoke, I said, look I know I have to come home because I just need surgery. So, she arranged for all of that in Bangalore.

“...And as I dropped off the call, I just told her that look I’ll go and bowl, but she thought probably I was just joking,” Kumble reminisced during a chat with JioCinema.

“I don’t think she even took it seriously. What’s he saying?”

The former India captain said even after breaking his jaw he felt it was his responsibility to pick some wickets.

“So, when I went back to the dressing room, I saw Sachin bowling because he was the only guy in the team who could bowl and then Wavell Hinds, I think was playing I don’t remember somebody else was batting,” Kumble said.

“And I thought it was my chance. I have to go and get a couple of wickets. If we can get West Indies three or four down, end of Day 2 or 3. I think if you can get them out, then maybe, we have a chance to win the game. That was the only thought.

“So, I told (physio) Andrew Leipus... get me out there.”

Kumble was due to fly back to Bangalore the following day for surgery, and he said at that time, “At least I can now go home with the thought that I tried my best.”

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