One who promised a lot and finally delivered less Vinod Kambli, has decided to call it quits. Many may think that it was long overdue, but not the charismatic man himself. "I waited so long as I was hoping to be back in the field again.

Vinod Kambli with his son

Even last year when I wanted to play for Mumbai, the selectors didn't consider me. So I thought there's no point hanging around ," Kambli told MiD DAY yesterday, soon after announcing his retirement from all forms of game. Reminded of the world record feat of 664-run partnership with maestro Sachin Tendulkar in an inter-school match, Kambli went into nostalgic mode. "Yes, sharing such a stand with Sachin is something I will cherish forever."

Kambli though felt he could have reached those dizzying heights if some more chances were provided to him. "I couldn't take repeated snubs from the selectors. I made nine comebacks and given some more opportunities, I would have also scored 10,000 runs and could have played 100 Test matches � once a cricketer, always a cricketer," that's how he puts it.

Getting to play only 17 Test matches for India cut deep. "I have played cricket with passion and now would like to concentrate more on other things. My wife Andrea and son are my priorities now," he said.

There has been enough talk about his strained relationship with pal Tendulkar, but Kambli still holds the master blaster in high regard and anyone who tries to malign his (Tendulkar's) image, will be taken on. That's why he appeared agitated when reminded about Pakistani fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar's remark that Sachin was scared of the Rawalpindi Express.

"How dare he say something like this? A cricketer of Sachin's stature cannot be undermined like this. This is nothing just a publicity stunt to sell his book. Now, either he takes back his words or shouldn't be allowed to release his book in India," Kambli felt.