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)

West Indies in South Africa, 2014-15

Dec 26, 2014 (14:00 IST)   at Port Elizabeth

Sri Lanka tour of New Zealand, 2014-15

Dec 26, 2014 (03:30 IST)   at Christchurch

India tour of Australia, 2014-15

Dec 26, 2014 (05:00 IST)   at Melbourne

West Indies in South Africa, 2014-15

Jan 2, 2015 (14:00 IST)   at Cape Town

Sri Lanka tour of New Zealand, 2014-15

Jan 3, 2015 (03:30 IST)   at Wellington

More

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Dec 19, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

New Zealand won by 68 runs

India tour of Australia, 2014-15

Dec 17, 2014  at Woolloongabba, Brisbane

Australia won by 4 wkts

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Dec 17, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

New Zealand won by 7 runs

West Indies in South Africa, 2014-15

Dec 17, 2014  at Centurion

South Africa won by an innings and 220 runs

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Dec 16, 2014  at Colombo

Sri Lanka won by 87 runs

Photos

India vs Australia, 2nd Test at Brisbane

Videos

Ind vs Aus: Dhoni analyses the 4-wicket loss at Brisbane

ICC World Cup 2015: England announce 15-man squad

India’s collapse against Australia on 2nd Test at Brisbane: Did the visitors really bat badly on Day 4?

India vs Australia 2014-15, Brisbane: India marks out of 10

Live Cricket Score India vs Australia 2014-15, 2nd Test at Brisbane, Day 4: Australia win by 4 wickets, take 2-0 lead in the series

Anil Kumble Australia India Moments in history Ricky Ponting South Africa

Ranji Trophy 2014-15: Railways host defending champions, Karnataka at home

ICC World Cup 2015: New Zealand has ‘golden opportunity’ to win, believes Dipak Patel

Alastair Cook’s removal as England ODI skipper sets Twitter ablaze with Kevin Pietersen’s comeback call

South Africa vs West Indies 2014-15: Jason Holder replaces Dwayne bravo as West Indies skipper for ODIs

India vs Australia 2014-15, 2nd Test at Brisbane: Ian Chappell criticises India for complaining against practice pitches

India vs Australia 2014-15, 2nd Test at Brisbane: Highlights

India’s collapse against Australia on 2nd Test at Brisbane: Did the visitors really bat badly on Day 4?

India vs Australia 2014-15, 2nd Test at Brisbane: Marks out of 10 for the hosts

India vs Australia 2014-15, Brisbane: India marks out of 10

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014, 5th ODI at Abu Dhabi: Marks out of ten for the hosts

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

653 Posts | 10 Fans

India vs Australia: Murali Vijay's 144, Video highlights

प्रसिद्ध कथक नृत्यांगना सितारा देवी नहीं रही

More broadband connections to boost GDP growth in Asia Pacific: GSMA

India is becoming our largest overseas market, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun says

Bigg Boss 8: Ali Quli Mirza, Renee Dhyani, Upen Patel, Praneet Bhatt, Sonali Raut – who should be evicted this week?

Revealed: The reason why Kishore Kumar’s biopic starring Ranbir Kapoor won’t feature Katrina Kaif!

अभिनेत्री प्रियंका चोपड़ा ने स्वच्छ भारत अभियान में हिस्सा लिया

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here