It was a bitter-sweet day for Mumbai leg-spinner Pravin Tambe yesterday. The 41-year-old, who made his first-class debut in the last Ranji Trophy season, was informed about his selection for Mumbai's last league match against Karnataka starting on February 6 at the Wankhede Stadium.
But as the day progressed, his joy turned into dejection after learning that his name was not in the squad of 15. "I got a call from the MCA (Mumbai Cricket Association) that I have been selected in the team and have to come for practice. I rushed to the MCA to fill the form. When I reached the MCA office I was told that the practice has been cancelled, but I still filled the form.
But later in the evening was shocked not to find my name in the squad. I was later told that I can attend the practice session if I feel so," a stumped Tambe told mid-day minutes after the team was officially announced. Tambe impressed the Mumbai selectors last season with his showing for Rajasthan Royals in the Champions League T20.
'He was not selected'
MCA secretary Nitin Dalal said Tambe was never selected in the first place. "We only informed him to come for practice. We do not inform any player until and unless the team is finalised," Dalal said. However, a source revealed that Tambe and Rajesh Pawar names were discussed. "The captain (Aditya Tare) and coach (Praveen Amre) wanted Pawar and Tambe in the team but one selector did not agree with them as it meant going backwards since the selectors are keen on grooming youngsters.
These names were only discussed but not finalised. Eventually, when everyone was on the same page, the team was finalised and released," said the source. Meanwhile, Wasim Jaffer could not get fit in time with his finger injury and was ruled out of the last league match. A fit Abhishek Nayar made a comeback to the Mumbai squad after missing out on three league matches.
Squad: A Tare (capt), A Nayar, S Yadav, S Iyer, S Lad, S Shaikh, S Thakur, N Patil, A Herwadkar, S Mangela, B Alam, I Abdullah, A Girap, Harmeet Singh and Balwinder Singh Sandhu.