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Anil Kumble - the name brings about memories about the legend (though the word is not usually associated with the player), both good and challenging. If you have a look at the following incidents in his life, you will wonder with awe (about his determination), inspire (with his guts) and a lot more that you will realize on reading below.
Let us start from the very beginning - the bowler in his teens was always criticized by his colleagues at school and college - he was called as a chucker. This did not deter him in anyway and made him determined to make a mark in the cricketing arena. And what an impact he managed to make in all internationals (in fact he is not done yet - he is still doing wonders on the IPL field)
The leg-spinner made all the right noise in the domestic circuit and made the Indian team (on tour to England). Though he was not a success straight away, he managed to be the critical part of Azharuddin's team that blanked various teams at home. He took wickets by the bagful and bagged many awards.
Again, after his initial stint, he was criticized by various people across the cricketing world about his so-called 'lack of spin'. If he was not able to spin the ball, how come he took so many wickets in his international career. He took this also in his stride and went on and on.
The other memorable moments in his career that I remember was the 'Perfect Ten' he picked up against Pakistan - amazing moment in the Indian cricketing history. Of course, when he was injured (jaw) against West Indies, the picture of him bowling with a bandage was a moment of guts and glory - the pain barrier could not stop him from making his appearance (and excelling) on the field.
Later in his career, captaincy came calling (even though late) and how he managed himself in Oz soil, against adversity. The way he handled the Harbhajan-Symonds issue was inspiring to say the least. He was not one to continue his career just because he was critical in the team - as soon as he was badly injured, he retired promptly. He came back in IPL colors and did not show any feelings even though he was not made the captain first. Of course, captaincy came calling after the failures of Dravid and Pietersen.
All throughout his career, he did not let the fame of his colleagues bother him in any way. 'Fab Four' was the name given to the batsmen (Sachin, Dravid, Ganguly, Laxman) but no one worried about him at all - he was always the low-key gentleman who basked in the glory of his team.
Do let me know if you have any other incident that you can recall or any other trait that I have missed out.