Have you ever seen a cricketer debuting at the age of 41? Well, only a true cricket fan would have heard the name of Pravin Tambe! Here’s the story of perseverance displayed and success achieved by Pravin Tambe, an inspirational Indian spinner who never gave up on his passion and dreams!
Pravin Tambe, age 51, is an Indian cricketer who raised eyebrows when he made his IPL debut back in the year 2013, at 41. Yes! The age which is considered a retirement age was the same age at which Tambe decided to start his professional cricket journey.
Coming from a middle-class Marathi family in Mumbai, Pravin Tambe initially wanted to be a fast bowler. But as envisioned by his Orient Shipping captain Ajay Kadam, he further continued as a leg spinner. Cricket was his passion but he also had family responsibilities to fulfil.
He kept struggling as a club-level cricketer in Mumbai along with doing a regular job to earn for his family for several years starting in 1995. He even got a chance for the Mumbai Ranji Probables squad during 2000-2002 but wasn’t selected eventually and Pravin Tambe's debut match in professional cricket was still a dream.
In 2013, Pravin Tambe age 41, became the oldest-ever player to debut in the Indian Premier League, given he didn’t even have any professional cricket experience. When Pravin decided to try out his luck for the invitational tournament in January 2013, he was discovered by the very own Rahul Dravid who was the Rajasthan Royals team captain at the time.
During the T20 invitational tournament, he had to step in to fill the position of the team’s injured bowler Rahul Sharma and to everyone’s surprise, he took 12 wholesome wickets which made their team win. When Pravin Tambe match innings were going on, it was the moment when Rahul Dravid spotted his skills and passion for the game and decided to onboard him as a bowler for his team.
Even though Pravin Tambe's debut match didn't give him a chance to play on the field, and for a whole year post becoming a part of Rajasthan Royals, he couldn't play but he also didn’t give up. He rather carried the same positive attitude, patience, and urge to keep going and bettering himself and thus did not miss even a single practice session!
When he finally got the much-awaited opportunity to play for his team in 2014, he displayed a great show. He took a hat-trick against Kolkata Knight Riders, securing the win, and making it the Pravin Tambe match! He also won the Man of the Match award for the game, further went on to become the highest wicket-taker in that season and the purple cap holder till the 25th match!
Pravin Tambe IPL journey included him being a part of Rajasthan Royals till 2015 post which he was bought by Gujarat Lions in 2016, Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2017, and Kolkata Knight Riders in 2020. However, he was disqualified from playing in the 2020 IPL for breaching BCCI's policies. He refused to sit back and continued to play in T10 leagues afterward. He is currently the spin bowling coach for the Lucknow SuperGiants IPL team.
Pravin Tambe is truly an inspirational man who taught us that it’s never too late to pursue your dreams. Pravin Tambe IPL journey portrays that age is just a number, what matters is your dedication and your hard work will surely pay off!
Who was the eldest player to make his debut in IPL?
Pravin Tambe, an Indian cricketer was the eldest player ever to make his debut in the Indian Premier League and debuted in the year 2013.
How old is Pravin Tambe now?
Pravin Tambe was born on 8th October 1971, so he is currently 52 years old (as of August 2023).
What is Pravin Tambe doing now?
Pravin Tambe is currently a spin bowling coach of the Lucknow Supergiants IPL team.