New Delhi:India captain Anil Kumble announced his retirement from Test cricket after the third Test against Australia in New Delhi.
Kumble said after the completion of the Kotla Test that he had taken the decision on Saturday.
"It was a tough decision when you have played 18 years of cricket and been so competitive. But my body helped making the decision and also, this (left hand) injury. I had already made the decision yesterday. Especially, as I knew I won't be hundred percent for the next Test. I had already decided to leave the game after this series any way. But it's been a fantastic journey," said Kumble.
Kumble, who injured his left hand on Friday and had eleven stitches in the little finger, said he would be present in Nagpur.
"I would be there in Nagpur, be part of the dressing room to see Sourav's last Test, Laxman's 100th Test and hope to see the team win. Though, I would have liked to win the series here (New Delhi)," he added.
Asked about the response of his teammates when he informed them of his retirement decision, Jumbo said, "the response I got I was proud of it. I have played with lots of players -- Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly, VVS Laxman, Virender Sehwag, the younger lot and of course with captains like Mohd. Azharuddin. I am proud to have played along with some of the great players."
Known for his fighting abilities, no cricket fan can ever forget the sight of a jaw strapped Kumble in West Indies when he took the field despite being advised to take rest. In his last Test as well he kept fighting, though he could pick only three wickets.
His teammate VVS Laxman, who was adjudged as the 'man of the match' for his unbeaten knocks of 200 and 59 runs, called his innings special for they came in Kumble's last match.
"He has been a great role model. All of us are really proud to play with him. Even his last wicket, if you see, we were dropping sitters and he took that difficult catch," said Laxman.
Kumble's Australian counterpart Ricky Ponting too lavished praises and wished him success off cricket.
"I would just like, on behalf of the Australian team, to congratulate Anil Kumble. He has been a great competitor, one of the modern-day greats. Enjoy your time off the game, mate," said the Australian captain.
The legendary leg-spinner, who had quit One-Day International in 2007, has been India's most successful bowler and world's third highest Test wicket-taker after Muttiah Muralitharan and Shane Warne.
In his 18-year long international cricket, Kumble played 132 Tests picking 619 wickets and 271 ODIs with 337 wickets.
He was given India's Test captaincy after Rahul Dravid stepped down and Sachin Tendulkar declined to take the responsibility. He started his tenure as Test skipper against Australia in December 2007 and has led India in 14 Tests with 3 wins, 5 draws and 5 defeats.
Kumble, a thorough gentleman, was appreciated by one and all for his diplomatic and dignified conduct as well as handling of the team during the much controversial tour to Australia. He also led his team to the historic win against Pakistan in 2007 when India recorded their first home win against the archrivals in 27 years.