Pravin Tambe has had a fairytale career, which was preceded by years of struggle and hardships, aptly described in his biopic titled ‘Kaun Pravin Tambe?‘ starring actor Shreyas Talpade that was released on April 1, 2022, on Disney+Hotstar.
The 50-year-old Tambe, a leg-spinner by category, was an active cricketer until last year when he featured in the Abu Dhabi T10 league and before that had become the first Indian (nationality passport wise) to play in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL).
He played 33 IPL matches between 2013 and 2016 for Gujarat Lions and Rajasthan Royals, picking up 28 wickets; currently is part of the Kolkata Knight Riders as spin bowling coach.
Here are some of the interesting and lesser-known facts about the inspirational Pravin Tambe:
- Tambe played his first IPL match aged 41
With no experience of first-class, List-A domestic cricket or any senior-level cricket, Tambe made his IPL debut in 2013, for the Royals, at the age of 41, becoming the oldest player to debut in the tournament. Later that year, he was called up to Mumbai’s Ranji Trophy team.
- Tambe was banned for a year by the IPL
Tambe was in demand for his leg-spin skillset in leagues around the world. And he took part in the 2018 T10 league. However, since the BCCI doesn’t allow Indian players to play in other leagues unless they have retired from Indian domestic cricket, the board slammed him with a year-long ban and hence he missed the IPL too.
- Tambe’s did day jobs before the IPL dream
Before his talent was spotted by the Royals, Tambe had toiled hard for decades as a club cricketer in Mumbai while still doing a day job. In fact, during the early seasons of the IPL, Tambe worked as a liaison officer whenever matches were played at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai.
- Tambe came close to Ranji squad once
He started playing club cricket in the 1995-96 season with the Parsee Cyclists side in the D division of Mumbai’s domestic league. He then later switched to Parsee Gymkhana in the B division of Mumbai’s domestic league before progressing to play in the top league when he joined the Shivaji Park Gymkhana.
He was even named in the Mumbai Ranji probables squad between 2000 and 2002 but was not drafted into the final squad.
- Highest wicket-taker in 2013 Champions League T20 tournament
Tambe turned heads when he finished as the leading wicket-taker in the now-defunct Champions League T20 tournament in 2013. He snapped 12 wickets in 5 matches, in five games at an average of 6.50, better than the likes of Sunil Narine and R Ashwin, helping RR through to the final where they lost to Mumbai Indians; even then, in the final, he did his job perfectly, returning with figures of 2/19 while Mumbai put up 202 on the board.
Pravin Tambe’s journey and career has been an inspiration for everyone, in cricket and in life, to never give up on your dreams – something which he said again after watching his biopic along with the KKR squad.
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— KolkataKnightRiders (@KKRiders) April 1, 2022