Memories of a magical mark

For a sport boasting of a rich history, there are many moments and performances that stand apart. One of those that still evokes wonderment is Anil Kumble’s epochal 10/74 against Pakistan 18 years ago.

On February 7, 1999, Kumble achieved what just one man — Jim Laker — had done before, capture all the ten wickets in an innings. The manner in which the now 46-year-old did it is equally fascinating. Needing a win to level the two-match Test series, India seemed under the gun at the Feroz Shah Kotla in New Delhi as Pakistan kick-started their chase of 420 in blazing fashion.

Openers Saeed Anwar and Shahid Afridi brought the century partnership in decent time as India looked worried. Kumble, a tenacious fighter, then changed the script on its head, orchestrating a sensational comeback as Pakistan collapsed from 101/0 to 207 all out. 

“I don’t think I ever thought 18 years ago when I sat in the dressing room before going out to bowl that I will pick up 10 wickets,” reflected Kumble about that historic day. “It is one of those things that happens. It is nice to celebrate anniversaries of cricketing milestones as well. If it happens, it happens. It can happen tomorrow or 10 years down the line or may not happen at all.

“I don’t think anybody gave me a chance to pick up 10 wickets. It is a very rare occurrence and I was privileged and blessed to be a part of that. It is something very unique. I am glad people remember anniversaries and we also celebrate cricketing anniversaries,” added the coach after receiving a round of applause from the media contingent at the start of his press conference.
DH News Service

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