New Delhi, Nov 2 (UNI) Describing him as a champion player, Sachin Tendulkar today said Anil Kumble would always be remembered as a player with a big heart and one of the most disciplined cricketers that the game has ever seen.
''We started our careers almost at the same time and have shared the dressing room for a long time,'' said Tendulkar after the third Test here at Feroz Shah Kotla.
''He is a champion player and a very committed one which we saw here itself. He is a man with a big heart,'' he added.
Kumble was hit on his left little finger and had to be rushed to the hospital where he received 11 stitches. But the 38-year-old leg-spinner, with a heavily bandaged hand, came back to the ground next morning and claimed three Australian wickets.
''There was one Test where he played with a fractured jaw and still managed to take Brian Lara's wicket. That shows his heart and his commitment.
''He has always given his 100 per cent and today when I gave him the cap for the last time, I told him that 'you have done proud to the country and the future generations will always remember you for what you have done,'' Tendulkar stated.
Former captain Sourav Ganguly, who himself has already announced his retirement after the Border-Gavaskar Test series gets over, further showered accolades on Kumble's illustrious career.
''He is easily one of the best in the game. I think there were many highs in his career.
''The 10-wicket haul against Pakistan here, the century at the Oval which I believe Anil would always cherish throughout his life and ofcourse, the Test against West Indies where he bowled with a broken jaw would always remain right up there,'' Ganguly said.
His statemate and a senior member of the Indian team Rahul Dravid also lavished praise on Kumble whose best figures in Tests - 10 for 74 against Pakistan - also came at the same venue where he announced his retirement today.
UNI RAR PY AS1922