Pravin Tambe's 'inspiring' journey from liaison officer to superstar in IPL

Dinesh Karthik feels every sportsperson will be inspired by leggie Pravin Tambe, who six years ago was Mumbai Indians liaison officer and now at 44 is playing for Gujarat Lions

Pravin Vijay Tambe is an inspiration for everyone. His story is one of perseverance and staying true to your beliefs and striving hard can pay off.

He was just another club cricketer plying his trade in Mumbai Maidans before IPL, but all that changed in 2013.

The Mumbai leg-spinner, who currently plays for Gujarat Lions, made his IPL debut at the age of 41 for Rajasthan Royals in 2013. 

Interestingly, six years ago at the age of 38 he was the liaison officer for Mumbai Indians franchise and now at the age of 44 is playing for Gujarat Lions.

His Lions' teammate Dinesh Karthik tweeted an image of of Sachin Tendulkar with Tambe as the liaison officer in 2010. 

Karthik tweeted, "This man is a true inspiration for every sportsman. I'm a huge fan of his and so happy to be in the same team."

Tambe's overnight stardom is a result of consistent hard work on the local circuit from 1996. His enthusiasm never waned despite being ignored and overlooked repeatedly for a higher level of cricket in Mumbai. 

2013 saw the veteran spinner emerge as the highest wicket-taker in the Champions League T20.

Then in 2014, the Rajasthan Royals' leggie took a hat-trick against Kolkata Knight Riders as the Gautam Gambhir-led franchise lost six wickets in the space of eight balls. Tambe's victims weren't tailenders, but Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan and Ryan ten Doeschate. RR won the game by 10 runs. Tambe was 42 at the time. 

Even more interesting was the fact that he got the hat-trick of just two legal deliveries to become only the second player in the history of T20 cricket and the first in the history of IPL to do so. The first delivery -- a googly -- was adjudged wide and spun enough to beat an advancing Manish Pandey as he was stumped by Sanju Samson. With his first legal delivery, he got Pathan (0) and then claimed ten Doeschate (0) with a flipper.

After the Rajasthan franchise was suspended from IPL, the veteran found a new lease of life with Gujarat. Though he hasn't played too many games, just two to be exact, he has put up good performances in both, taking the key wickets of Ajinkya Rahane and Kevin Pietersen of Rising Pune Supergiants, and Mumbai Indians' Parthiv Patel and Kieron Pollard. His four wickets played important role in Gujarat's wins over Pune and Mumbai.

Truly an inspiring tale!

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