Earlier this year, Disney + Hotstar released a biopic on former cricketer Pravin Tambe. Titled Kaun Pravin Tambe?, the film is directed by Jayprad Desai and stars Shreyas Talpade in the lead role.
The biopic has received positive response from viewers, especially from the cricket fraternity that has known Tambe’s journey from close quarters. Cricket lovers know that Tambe made his debut at 41, but not many know that he slogged in club cricket for nearly two decades.
“In the first instance I said no when the movie makers approached me. I didn’t show any interest but they called me again requesting me to meet once. They wanted to show the 41-year-old Tambe’s journey. One line which struck me was when they said, people knew that you have played at the age of 41 but what you did in the last 20 years, people should know your struggle. I agreed,” told the Indian Express in an interview.
Here’s all you need to know about the 41-year-old debutant
Early career in cricket
Pravin Tambe started his cricketing journey as a medium pacer before switching to leg-spin. His club cricket journey began in the 1995-96 season with the Parsee Cyclists team in Mumbai domestic cricket’s division D and eventually made his way into the esteemed Shivaji Park Gymkhana. In 2000, Tambe was named in Mumbai's Ranji Trophy probables but did not get to make his debut. Despite being one of the top performers in club cricket, the first-class call-up kept eluding Tambe. Since club cricket does not pay much, Tambe worked as a liaison officer at the DY Patil Stadium.
The IPL and Ranji Trophy dream gets fulfilled
Life changed for Tambe in 2013, when he was scouted by Rahul Dravid and was selected to play for the Rajasthan Royals in the IPL at the age of 41. That season, he took a hat-trick against the Kolkata Knight Riders and was also named the Player of the Match. Tambe finished the 2014 season as one of Rajasthan’s highest wicket-takers. That same year, Tambe was the leading wicket-taker in the Champions League T20 with 12 wickets at an average of 6.5. His performances earned him his maiden call-up for the Mumbai team in the 2013–14 Ranji Trophy. Prior to this, he played club cricket for nearly two decades.
In IPL 2015, Tambe picked up seven wickets in 10 games before being bought by Gujarat Lions in 2016 and then by Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2017.
After receiving his Ranji Trophy call-up in the 2013-2014 season at the age of 42, Tambe made his List A debut for Mumbai in the 2016–17 Vijay Hazare Trophy in 2017 at the age of 46. His domestic career, however, was briefer than his IPL career. Tambe played just two First Class games and six List A games for Mumbai. In the IPL, he played 33 games, picking up 28 wickets at an economy of 7.75. Overall, Tambe played 64 T20s, picking up 70 wickets at an economy rate of under seven.
The Caribbean Premier League stint
In July 2020, Tambe was named in the Trinbago Knight Riders squad for the 2020 Caribbean Premier League, which is the Caribbean’s top T20 league. He also became the first Indian cricketer to get a contract in the CPL. He made his debut in the match between Trinbago Knight Riders and the St Lucia Zouks. TKR ended up winning the CPL title that year.
Born on October 8, 1971, Tambe lives in Mumbai with his family. He is married to Vaishali Tambe and the couple have a son named Pranav Tambe and a daughter named Pari Tambe.
Image credit: IPL