To become the first Indian to claim 500 wickets is special: Kumble

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Mohali, Mar 11 (UNI) Ace leggie Anil Kumble today said he felt special on becoming the first Indian to achieve the milestone of claiming 500 wickets in Test.

''It's a great feeling to reach this milestone. It becomes special since I'm the only Indian,'' an elated Kumble said while addressing a press conference after third day's play here today.

Playing his 105th Test, Kumble took five English wickets to become the only fifth cricketer to claim 500 Test wickets.

He, thus, joins the 'Elite 500 club', along with Shane Warne (569 in 108 Tests), Muttiah Murlitharan (600 in 110 Tests), Glenn McGrath (542 in 100 Tests) and Courtney Walsh (519 in 129 Tests).

Kumble dedicated this feat to all those with whom he had played.

''The fielders who took the catches and all the batsmen without whose contributions I would not have been able to bowl. Besides, my family supported me throughout.'' ''It is self-belief that has kept me going all these years.

A lot of doubts were created by some persons, but I never doubted my ability, and nor did my colleagues. Over the last 16 years, there have been people who have asked the same questions. I am not sure even today if they have got their answers,'' the mechanical engineer from Karnataka said.

''I go into every game with a purpose. It is to bowl to the best of my abilities,'' he added.

Going down to the memory lane, Kumble, who underwent a shoulder operation in 2001, said, ''There have been a few difficult periods.

I had fears in my mind whether I would play international cricket once again as at one point I could not even lift my hand for two months.'' Asked for how long he would continue and the target he had set for himself, Kumble said, ''I will go on as long as my body allows.

It is difficult to set the target. Australian Shane Warne and Sri Lankan Muralitharan are in front of me so there is some motivation too.'' Kumble said his first Test wicket of Allan Lamb on debut at Manchester in 1990 is among the most cherished moments.

''Taking 10 wickets against Pakistan, beating Australia in Adelaide and the Pakistan series win are the other moments in my life,'' he added.

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