Pravin Vijay Tambe is one of the inspiring figures for all the upcoming young players. Pravin Tambe is a right-armed leg-spinner who hails from Mumbai, Maharashtra. Born in 1971, Pravin had his goal set from an earlier age in his career that he wanted to play Ranji Trophy. Pravin started his cricket career by playing gully cricket at the age of 15 on the streets of Mumbai.
Later, Tambe realised that playing gully cricket would not bring success. He desired and tried his luck in the domestic league of Mumbai division D. He started his career as a medium-pacer playing for the Parsee Cyclist Sports Club in 1995. Soon, the local teams recognised Tambe’s talent, and he went from Division D to Division B and then further to the top of the league and played in Division A, and one for one of the most famed local clubs called Shivaji Park Gymkhana.
Despite managing to reach the top of the division, Tambe struggled to keep his non-cricketing career afloat, working and finding odd jobs and at the same time taking part in the cricket tournaments organised by the Mumbai Cricket Association. He started playing in the corporate cricket leagues known as Time Shield Cricket (TSC). It is a league or a tournament where companies play against each other.
Tambe’s first team in TSC was a shipping firm he worked for called Orient Shipping. This was the first phase of the medium-pace bowler drastically changing his bowling career. His captain asked Tambe to shift the action to a wrist spinner.
While playing in the Time Shield Cricket tournament, Tambe met with India’s fast bowler Kuruvilla. Later, he became the Sports Director at the DY Patil Sports Academy. However, Tambe was in for a big shock when his firm Orient shipping pulled the plug on the cricket team due to budget issues. Pravin did not give up and returned to his old ways of playing for various local teams. Realising the potential of the spinner, Kuruvilla wanted Pravin to play for the DY Patil Academy’s B team.
While playing for the B team, Pravin tried his luck out in Ranji Trophy, but the best he could do was reach the Ranji Probables between 2000 and 2002, primarily due to his age.
During his stint at the DY Patil Stadium, he got a surprise call to play a T20 match for the A team of the DY Patil academy. This opportunity turned out to be the turning point as the selection scouts of Rajasthan Royals were watching him. It brought Pravin into the spotlight, as now the Rajasthan management wanted the 41-year-old to come to Rajasthan Royals selection trials.
Everything changed for the struggling leg spinner after his debut in the Indian Premier League at 41.
Pravin did not get enough opportunities to show his skill in his first season and only played three matches. In which he managed to 1 Wicket only. However, 2013 gave him another chance to prove himself. He surprised everyone at Champions League T20 by receiving the Golden Wicket Award presented to the highest wicket-taker in the tournament.
In 2014, the fans were shocked when he managed to take a hattrick against Kolkata Knight Riders in just two balls. Usually, a hattrick is recorded in three balls, but he managed to do it in two balls due to the wide delivery he bowled, leading to the stumping of the Batsman.
The 41-year-old continued to play in IPL for various franchises (Rajasthan Royals, Gujarat Lions, and Sunrisers Hyderabad) until 2018 but was disqualified in 2020 after Kolkata Knight Riders bought him. The IPL governing body found him violating the BCCI rule where an Indian player cannot play in any foreign league without informing the board. Tambe came back from his announcement to play in the T10 league in Dubai.