Many still wonder why Anil Kumble was called ‘Jumbo’? India’s new head coach has revealed finally that it was Navjot Singh Sidhu who gave him the nickname ‘Jumbo’ while attending a Q/A session on Twitter on Tuesday.

India is scheduled to play four Tests against the West Indies, starting July 21. While the team has already reached West Indies, Kumble – who is set to join the team in a few day’s time- with his ever smiling face replied to fans through 30-second video responses in the session conducted on BCCI’s official Twitter handle.

“My nickname was coined by none other than Navjot Singh Sidhu,” Kumble said when asked about his famous nickname.

“It was during Irani Trophy game when I was playing for Rest of India at Kotla [Feroz Shah Kotla]. He was standing at his customary position, mid-on. One of the balls really took off and he said ‘Jumbo Jet.’ While the ‘Jet’ got dropped off, just the ‘Jumbo’ remained. So ever since all my teammates call me Jumbo,” he added.

Back in 2006, Kumble with his ‘Jumbo’ performance led India to secure a historic series win against the West Indies at Kingston.

While defending a target of only 269, Kumble bulldozed the West Indies’ batting order by taking 6/78 to help India win the match by 49 runs. It eventually sealed the four-match series 1-0 and made sure India won a series in the West Indies after 35 years. With 23 wickets from the four matches, he was also the leading wicket-taker of the series.

In the coming days when the Test squad will feature some uncertain inexperienced youngsters and an over the top skipper like Virat Kohli, Anil Kumble looks to be the balm which will soothe the nerves.

Kumble still enjoys the stature and the position in Indian cricket to persuade a young team to learn the basics from him. He has always been there and done that. To be frank, he had to encounter more failures than successes, so he has the credibility to understand the mindset of an average young Indian cricketer.


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