Anil Kumble recalls Broken Jaw incident during WI Antigua Test in 2002

Anil Kumble recalls broken jaw incident
Anil Kumble

None of the cricket fans could easily forget Anil Kumble’s broken jaw incident in 2002 where he continued to bowl irrespective of the pain he felt.

Anil Kumble recalls Broken Jaw incident

Anil Kumble recalls broken Jaw incident at Antigua Test in 2002, as he was hit by a Mervyon Dillon’s short ball that hit him on the face. Despite being in pain, he bowled 14 overs and picked up the crucial wicket of Cricket legend Brian Lara.

Chethana, Kumble’s wife, thought he was “probably Joking” as he bandaged his face along with his jaw. On his decision to continue the match and challenged Brian Lara during the Antigua test in 2002.

Anil Kumble says Brian Lara has been one of the toughest batters he had bowled to, as he had three shots for one delivery. But Lara’s skills were not able to stop Kumble as he bowled 14 overs and dismissed Brian Lara with a broken jaw.

Anil Kumble
Anil Kumble

“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 an interview 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 get some wickets for the team.

“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 two or three. 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 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.”

Batting at No. 7, Kumble was hit by a Mervyn Dillon short ball. He was injured and spat out blood still batted on for another 20 minutes in the fourth Test of the series which happened two decades ago.

Brian Lara
Brian Lara

Who is the Toughest Bowl – Kumble Opens

On the question about the toughest batter he bowled to during his career, he picked Lara, Saeed Anwar, Jacques Kallis, and Aravinda de Silva among others.

“Well, I think it was good that most of them were a part of my team. Imagine bowling at Sachin, Rahul, Saurav, Viru, Laxman, all these guys in a match. It would have been a nightmare. Jokes apart had some wonderful batters whom I bowled against,” he said

“Aravinda de Silva was a tough one and Brian Lara – he probably had three shots to every ball and he would change. You would think that you’ve got him.”

On Lara, the only man to score 400 in Test cricket, he continued, “You’d feel that you’ve deceived it and then suddenly you play a shot, which you can’t imagine and when you know that he’s come forward, you have beaten him, and then he would just use the pace and then late cut for four and that was his quality.”

Kumble continued, “I think in every series, you sort of encounter a couple of tough guys who sort of are difficult. Jacques Kallis was someone who never, ever gave away his wicket. Inzamam-Ul-Haq was really tough.”

“Then I mean some of the left-handers were really – Hayden was someone who was imposing. We knew that getting him out LBW was out of the equation.”

“… I think at the end of six, it was a tea break. Yeah. So, I got a bit of a break and then seven happened. Saleem Malik got out of and then eight and nine happened in two deliveries off the fifth and the sixth ball so I knew that, okay, here’s my chance.”