Forty three-year-old Rajasthan Royals leggie Pravin Tambe earns recall for Mushtaq Ali T20 tourney
The Mumbai selectors surprisingly recalled 43-year-old Pravin Tambe yesterday for the Syed Musthaq Ali T20 (West Zone) tournament starting on March 24 in Pune, which goes against their policy of infusing young blood in the team.
Pravin Tambe during the Kanga League 'A' Division match at Shivaji Park Gymkhana, Dadar in 2013. Pic/mid-day archive
Nonetheless, Tambe was elated about his recall. "There is greater joy playing for Mumbai than in the IPL (Indian Premier League). It has always been my dream to represent Mumbai. I am excited to play my first match of the season for Mumbai," said Tambe, who made his first-class debut during the 2013-14 Ranji Trophy season.
Tambe last played for Mumbai (March 2014) in the very tournament he has been picked for now at the Wankhede Stadium. Perhaps, his good showing in Twenty20 cricket has prompted the selectors to recall the leg-spinner. Tambe received the Golden Wicket award in the 2013 Champions League T20 for topping the wickets (12) chart.
Astonishingly, in that tournament Tambe was never hit for a six despite bowling his full quota of four overs for Rajasthan Royals in all matches. Last month, he was involved in a bizarre incident when the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) informed him about his selection to represent Mumbai in their last Ranji Trophy league match against Karnataka.
However, a few hours later, he was surprised not to see his name in the squad of 15 on the MCA website. "I don't know what really happened," he said about the fiasco. "This time, I haven't got a call from the MCA so far, but my name appears in the team which is on their website. I am waiting for them to inform me," added Tambe.
Tambe, who claimed nearly 100 wickets on Mumbai's local circuit this season, is a bit disappointed at not making the cut for the Vijay Hazare limited overs tournament and Ranji Trophy.
"I don't know whether my age is an issue or my fitness. As far as my fitness is concerned, I have been playing matches five days a week. I led DY Patil Sports Club to two titles (Kanga League 'A' Division, Times Shield 'B' Division) this season. In the recently-concluded Times Shield, I claimed 55 wickets in nine matches.
I have been performing consistently in local cricket. And as far as my age is concerned, I cannot change that," he concluded. Meanwhile, the selectors included 16-year-old Rizvi Springfield school's left-arm spinner Sidak Singh in the squad. Sidak, who recently rectified his action after being called for chucking in 2013 during a U-16 match, has been a prolific performer in inter-school cricket.
Aditya Tare (captain), Abhishek Nayar, Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Siddhesh Lad, Akhil Herwadkar, Sarfaraz Khan, Siddharth Chitnis, Shardul Thakur, Prathamesh Dhake, Rohan Raje, Sidak Singh, Pravin Tambe, Abhishek Raut, Shoaib Shaikh