CHENNAI: Apart from being right-handers, possessing proficiency with the gloves, and being among those who’ve donned the Indian colours, what connects Rahul Dravid and Dinesh Karthik? The answer — as incredulous as it might sound — is Pravin Tambe. How? Both the aforementioned names — who themselves are looked up to by many a budding cricketer — have publicly cited the leg-spinner as a source of inspiration. At 45 years of age, Tambe’s professional sojourn is quite the Chicken Soup for the Cricketing Soul.
“Aap log jab mujhse poochte ho ki aap 45 ho, tabhi mujhe lagta hai ki main 45 hoon (I realise I’m 45 only after you people ask),” quipped the Mumbai tweaker at the MA Chidambaram Stadium on Friday, a day before his team’s Vijay Hazare Trophy Group C clash against defending champions Gujarat.
“I don’t look at age as something that determines how good a player is. What I look at is the ability to give a 100 percent when you’re out there. As far as my fitness goes, I do what is required of a sportsman; nothing out of the ordinary. I hit the gym daily every morning, and do weight training on alternate days. That helps me be up and about.”
This is the second time — after three years — that Tambe’s name has found a place in Mumbai’s List A squad-sheet; a not-so-surprising inclusion. Tambe ended the inter-state leg of the Syed Mushtaq Trophy as Mumbai’s top wicket-taker (six scalps at an average and economy of 16.50 and 6.60), cementing a place in the West Zone contingent. “I’m hoping to get a chance this time since I had a decent run during Syed Mushtaq. It depends on what kind of a combination the management wants to go with. It’ll be good if I get to play.”