Home > Features >

Pravin Tambe’s story gives hope to cricketers who dream of playing at a higher level: Abey Kuruvilla

Pravin Tambe's story gives hope to cricketers who dream of playing at a higher level: Abey Kuruvilla

Rajasthan Royals’ leg-spinner Pravin Tambe’s journey has been one of struggle and a never say die spirit © IANS

Pravin Tambe, the 41-year old Rajasthan Royals’ leg-spinner dazzled in their encounter against the Highveld Lions at the Champions League T20 2013. At an age where cricketers have normally moved on, Tambe actually made his senior debut after years of toil and hard work. Nishad Pai Vaidya spoke to Abey Kuruvilla, who has watched Tambe from close quarters, and discovers Tambe’s journey.

 
The Dennis Quaid starrer The Rookie chronicles the journey of Jim Morris — a man who quite remarkably made his Major League Baseball (MLB) debut at the ripe age of 35. If Bollywood wanted a similar story, they needn’t look further that Rajasthan Royal’s Pravin Tambe. The leg-spinner made his senior debut at the age of 41 during the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2013 and dazzled during Rajasthan’s Champions League Twenty20 (CLT20) 2013 encounter against the Lions by picking four wickets. Sans a First-Class game or any outing at a senior level, Tambe finally made it big this year, after years of toil and sweat. Isn’t this just like a movie script? A man pursues his dreams for years and at last gets his moment under the sun!
 
Tambe has been playing on Mumbai’s club circuit for years. He now turns up for the famous Dr DY Patil Academy, which is coached by the former India fast-bowler Abey Kuruvilla. In a chat with CricketCountry, Kuruvilla was full of praise for Tambe after his match-winning spell on Wednesday, “He is a very committed cricketer. His attitude is fantastic and that is what has helped him.” One certainly needs character to make a senior debut at an age where the most cricketers hang-up their boots and move away from the game.
 
Even skipper Rahul Dravid acknowledged Tambe’s heartening tale. He told the media after the Rajasthan win, “What a story. For someone who has not even got a chance to play First-Class cricket and has worked hard all these years in Kanga league, it is terrific story.” Tambe’s journey has been one of struggle and a never say die spirit. In 2000, he did play for a representative Mumbai team against Kenya. Since then, he has plied his trade at the club levels in Mumbai and also in the Liverpool and District Cricket Competition in England.
 
But, did Tambe ever expect that he would finally make the cut? Kuruvilla said, “The ability was always there. The thing is he never gave up and always had a positive frame of mind.” To top it all, he hones one of the most difficult arts in cricket — leg-spin. Kuruvilla said that Tambe wasn’t originally a leg-spinner and had in fact started off as a medium pacer. Mumbai is also famous for its tennis-ball cricket tournaments and Tambe was one of the top players there.
 
Inadvertently, Tambe has certainly become an inspiration to many cricketers. When one glaces at any cricket field in Mumbai, one can see scores of men plying their trade with an endeavour to rise to a higher level. Tambe is a symbol for them and one man they would all look up to. “What Tambe has done is that he has given players hope that even if you don’t play First-Class cricket, you still have a chance to make a name for yourself. If you have the ability, that is what matters. Age is just a number and it isn’t a factor.”
 
(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_44)

South Africa in Zimbabwe, 2014

Aug 21, 2014 (13:00 IST)   at Bulawayo

Bangladesh Tour of West Indies, 2014

Aug 22, 2014 (19:00 IST)   at St George's, Grenada

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 23, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Hambantota

India tour of England 2014

Aug 25, 2014 (15:00 IST)   at Bristol

Bangladesh Tour of West Indies, 2014

Aug 25, 2014 (00:00 IST)   at Basseterre, St Kitts

More

Bangladesh Tour of West Indies, 2014

Aug 20, 2014  at St George's, Grenada

West Indies won by 3 wkts

South Africa in Zimbabwe, 2014

Aug 19, 2014  at Bulawayo

South Africa won by 61 runs

South Africa in Zimbabwe, 2014

Aug 17, 2014  at Bulawayo

South Africa won by 93 runs

India tour of England 2014

Aug 15, 2014  at London

England won by an innings and 244 runs

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 14, 2014  at Colombo

Sri Lanka won by 105 runs

Photos

Highlights of Mahela Jayawardene’s Test career

Videos

Hughes explains technique behind cut shot

West Indies vs Bangladesh Live Cricket Score, 1st ODI at St George’s: West Indies win by 3 wickets

Len Pascoe: There was a hospital ward named after Jeff Thomson and me

India tour of Australia 2014-15: 5 ways India can avoid another overseas embarrassment

MS Dhoni can benefit from borrowing the ‘Sourav Ganguly School of leadership’

Ravi Shastri inspired confidence as player and captain: Will he do it in a coaching capacity?

England England vs India England vs India 2014 India India tour of England 2014 India vs England India vs England 2014 Pakistan Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka 2014 Pakistan vs Sri Lanka Pakistan vs Sri Lanka 2014 Sri Lanka Sri Lanka vs Pakistan Sri Lanka vs Pakistan 2014

Stuart Broad to undergo knee surgery on September 4

West Indies vs Bangladesh 2014: Why West Indies’ victory is statistically significant

West Indies beat Bangladesh by 3 wickets in 1st ODI at Grenada

India vs England 2014: Duncan Fletcher, Joe Daws conduct practice at Lord’s ahead of ODI series

HPCA saga: High Court gives government 10 days to reply to writ petition

India Women vs England Women ODI series: Test victory should motivate them to improve their ODI record in England

Science of slip fielding: What might be wrong with Team India’s slip cordon

A statistical review of Mahela Jayawardene’s Test career

India tour of England 2014: Is IPL really the cause of India’s woes abroad?

West Indies vs Bangladesh 2014: Why West Indies’ victory is statistically significant

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

659 Posts | 6 Fans

India tour of England 2014: Sunil Gavaskar says Indian batsmen did not learn anything

George W Bush takes ice bucket challenge, dares Bill Clinton

Science of slip fielding: What might be wrong with Team India’s slip cordon

Vidya Balan gets caught while watching Salman Khan’s Kick in disguise!

Ebola in Liberia: Ebola quarantine zone turns violent as soldiers open fire

Hrithik Roshan will not romance Jacqueline Fernandez

A statistical review of Mahela Jayawardene’s Test career

Militants attack major air base in eastern Syria

How much money has the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge raised till now?

OnePlus starts hiring in India ahead of launch

America, Are you ready to cheer for MOMS?

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here