March 18, 2010

Offbeat

Smile, you're on Kumble's camera

George Binoy

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Picture perfect: The Indian team take a speedboat ride during their tour of New Zealand in 2002-03 © Anil Kumble

Anil Kumble, on the boundary’s edge, or from the team balcony, camera in hand, ready to capture a historic moment for posterity, has been a common sight for years. His passion for photography, however, was not restricted to cricket and now you can see what Kumble’s been capturing in his book, Wide Angle, which was released by Shane Warne in Bangalore on March 17.

“I always told my team-mates that while I am in the Indian team, there will be no privacy for them because I would be taking pictures,” Kumble said at the launch. “I have always been fascinated with photographs. I travelled on my first longish trip from Bangalore to Srinagar for an Under-17 national camp. My brother gave me a small aim-and-shoot camera, and you could say the bug bit me then. I have always had a camera with me on every tour after that.

“There have been some interesting events over the years and, as I said, there have been great characters in the team – [Venkatapathy] Raju, [Javagal] Srinath, Vinod Kambli and Harbhajan. Bhajji is the one of the funniest guys in the team, he is always a livewire irrespective of what may have happened. And Srinath, with all his antics, he was always game.”

Kumble’s favourite picture is of the city of Durban, taken from the 17th floor of his hotel at 4 am on a stormy morning. His favourite cricket shot is of Sachin Tendulkar reaching his 35th Test century, breaking Sunil Gavaskar’s world record.

George Binoy is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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