Pravin Tambe had not even played a top-level game for a first-class side when he was picked from obscurity at the age of 41, by Rajasthan Royals for IPL 2013. The leg-spinner had toiled for several years as a club cricketer in Mumbai while still holding down a day job.
He grabbed the spotlight in the Champions League T20 later that year when he was the competition’s leading wicket-taker with 12 scalps in five games at an average of 6.50, better than the likes of Sunil Narine and R Ashwin. That led to the long-awaited Mumbai Ranji call-up in the domestic season that followed.
Playing for Gujarat Lions this year at the age of 44 years and 200 days, he is the second oldest player in the tournament behind KKR spinner Brad Hogg.
Talking about his game plan to TOI, the spinner said:
“I treat every game as my last game.I am playing for big teams. I don’t want to let them down due to my age. I aim to give 100 percent in all three departments of the game, every time.”
And to keep pace with the younger lot, Tambe has made a few changes in his diet in the past three years. “I have cut down on carbs and added protein in my diet. I have limited rice and vada pao intake. But I do cheat once in a while, I can’t quit vada pao.”
Talking about his fitness the spinner said that he try to play as much as he can to remain in shape.
“I don’t skip a single match. All week long, either I play for my club or my employer to keep myself up to the mark. When not on field, I hit the gym,” he disclosed.
When asked about his retirement plans, the spinner said:
“So far I am doing the job for my team and enjoying my game. The moment I feel I am not performing, I will quit.”
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