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Sunday, October 5, 2008

Kumble not ready to bow out

Indian Test captain Anil Kumble has refused to put a timeframe on when he will retire from international cricket, insisting he will quit on his own terms.

Sourav Ganguly's exclusion from the Irani Trophy squad triggered a raging debate in the media on just when India's ageing 'Golden Generation' should call it quits.

"It is difficult to look too far ahead when you have played for so long," Kumble told the Times of India. "I will take it series by series."

Ganguly was included in the Test team for the Border-Gavaskar series although reports suggesting he had struck a deal with selectors on his retirement have since surfaced.

The 37-year-old Kumble backed Ganguly along with the other senior players - Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman who are all well past 30 - while emphasising that performance rather than age, should be the measure for selection.

"The body responds differently. And it's not the same, I am definitely not the way I was five years ago in terms of the way the body is feeling.

"But I still can't put a date or time on calling it quits, how my body responds will be the clue. As long as I am happy with the performance I will carry on. That will definitely be the yardstick. I would like to certainly take a decision my way rather than someone else asking me to.

"As far as I know I am the only Indian cricketer in history to play on after retiring from one form of the game. I knew when to quit ODIs, likewise with Tests."

Kumble said it was up to the individual players and the selectors to decide when a player should end his international career.

"I cannot say how the issue (of phasing out seniors) should be handled," he added. "It's up to the individuals. It's a selection issue. I can only speak for myself and how I would go about it."

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