Pravin Tambe – Going Strong at 41
By Sagar Satapathy: The much-hyped Champions League Twenty20 (CLT20) tournament came to an end with Mumbai Indians clinching the title in style. The CLT20 2013 was a farewell series for veterans Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid. Fortunately, both of them featured in the final. However, the tournament will be remembered for one bowler, who defied the age and fatigue to win the ‘Golden Wicket’ with most number of wickets.
Pravin Tambe, 41, was part of the staff at the DY Patil Stadium and used to take care of the players’ needs in the dressing room in 2008. Later, he served as a Liaison Manager for Deccan Chargers and Pune Warriors. Surprisingly, he found his way to the IPL (Rajasthan Royals) and the rest is history. At this age, Tambe captured 12 wickets in CLT20 and beat Sunil Narine in the quest for ‘Golden Wicket’ award.
In the semifinals against Chennai Super Kings, Pravin Tambe took the wickets of Suresh Raina, Subramaniam Badrinath and Dwayne Bravo. That changed the course of the game and resulted in a win for Rajasthan Royals. Tambe gave the credit for his performance to James Faulkner and Rahul Dravid. Faulkner guided him a lot to improve the bowling.
Under Rahul Dravid’s leadership, Tambe got a chance to flourish. Rahul gave him complete freedom to set his field and choose his end. And, the results prove that Tambe never let him down. Tambe won two ‘Man of the Match’ awards in CLT20 2013.
Pravin Tambe, who played for Shivaji Park Gymkhana from 1996 to 2004 and then for DY Patil from 2004 till date, was ignored by the Mumbai Selectors because of the presence of high-class spinners. He made it to the Mumbai Team this year for the Vijay Hazare knock-out tournament, but failed to play even a single game, as Mumbai were knocked out early. At the age of 41, it’s not certain how long Tambe could contribute to his teams. However, he has proved his mettle with the limited opportunities he got and showed the world that performance and hard work matter, not the age.