Ranji Trophy 2013-14 December 2, 2013

Tambe named in Mumbai Ranji squad for first time

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Pravin Tambe, the 42-year-old legspinner, has earned his maiden call-up to the Mumbai Ranji Trophy squad. He was named in their 15 for the home match against Jharkhand, scheduled for December 6 to 9.

Tambe, who had not played any top-level cricket until May this year, got his first big break when he was included in Rajasthan Royals' squad for IPL 2013. He played his first recognised Twenty20 as a 41-year-old against Delhi Daredevils, and went on to play two more games in the tournament. He is yet to play a List A or a first-class match, but really grabbed the spotlight in the Champions League T20 2013, in September-October, when he was the competition's leading wicket-taker with 12 scalps in five games at an average of 6.50.

The Mumbai selectors took into account Tambe's attitude and recent form, chief selector Deepak Jadhav told ESPNcricinfo. "We had a little bit of discussion before arriving at a consensus about Pravin," Jadhav, who was chairing his first senior selection committee after Sudhir Naik stepped down last week, said. "But the point is none of the young spinners are ready to earn the Mumbai cap. Iqbal Abdullah, who had been a part of the squad before we asked him to play the U-25 game last week, hasn't been bowling well. Had we had a deserving youngster, we would have gone for it, but barring his physical age, Pravin fits the bill in every respect.

"He has been picking tons of wickets for years and years. Not only at the club level, but he has also proven himself in T20s at the IPL and CLT20. Moreover, his attitude is as positive as any youngster. He is lively on the field and even if he isn't in the eleven, he is a great motivator in the dressing room. He is an asset to the team, so I would tell everyone not to look at his age. He is fit, he has the skills and he has the ability and desire to succeed at this level, so he deserves an opportunity."

Tambe posed problems for most batsmen in the Champions League, with his skiddy legbreaks and accuracy, and helped Royals complete a giant-killing in the semi-final by beating Chennai Super Kings. He took 3 for 10 in his four overs in that game, claiming the wickets of Suresh Raina, Dwayne Bravo and S Badrinath.

Mumbai are missing regular captain and pace spearhead Zaheer Khan and batsman Ajinkya Rahane in this squad, with the pair being away on India duty in South Africa.

Squad: Abhishek Nayar (capt), Aditya Tare (vice-capt), Wasim Jaffer, Hiken Shah, Suryakumar Yadav, Sushant Marathe, Vishal Dabholkar, Siddhesh Lad, Javed Khan, Shardul Thakur, Akbar Khan, Kshemal Waingankar, Manish Rao, Pravin Tambe, Sagar Kerkar

Amol Karhadkar is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on December 3, 2013, 17:12 GMT

    Tambe is the best legspinner in the whole world. There will never be another Pravin Tambe.

  • on December 3, 2013, 11:39 GMT

    Padmakar Shivalkar played for Bombay at 48. It is gutsy for Mumbai to have selected Tambe and he deserves it fully. He should play for India t 20. Hope in longer version Tambe does well for his team

  • Sunman81 on December 3, 2013, 10:23 GMT

    Congrats Tambe! This shows his strong Perseverance and mental strength. Having said that, it is rather unfortunate to see a strong team like Mumbai doesn't have a talented spin bowler in the waiting... Managing resources is the key aspect in sports and one would hope that Indian domestic team follows it maintain the balance of the team.

  • 11_Warrior on December 3, 2013, 10:16 GMT

    Is Mumbai lack quality spinners?

  • Naresh28 on December 3, 2013, 9:17 GMT

    Tambe is certainly an inspiration to youngsters. Give it your best shot and recognition will come. I dont see Tambe playing at higher level (cause of age) - but maybe he could be a coach for youngsters?

  • ravi_hari on December 3, 2013, 8:10 GMT

    I am happy for Tambe. Atleast he can show to his kids that after toiling so hard in leagues he is finally in the Ranji squad. I dont think MCA should look at age as Jadhav rightly mentioned. If he can bowl well and pick wickets why not? He has shown in the CL that he can trouble batsmen with his variations. Today's batsmen are not good players of spin. That will help him get wickets and if he succeeds it is worth the try. He can play for a couple of seasons and can groom a couple of youngsters to take over from him. He can atleast qualify for a spin coach job later if he can play Ranji and T20 internationals for a couple of years. As Jadhav rightly pointed out Tambe's attitude is the most positive one and he derserves a place in the XI. Mumbai should not keep him in the reserves. Give him a couple of chances and see whether he can do it. If he succeeds he can continue otherwise you will have a reason to drop him. Anyway RR will not leave him for atleast the coming season.

  • on December 3, 2013, 6:12 GMT

    The selection of Tambe is Going Backwards is all I can say. It is not as if Mumbai is in a dire situation. A 40 year old cricketer makes his Ranji debut (presumably) and probably after a few years of good performance can play for India. Should be 45 by then.Except for romanticism this decision makes no sense. I am unaware why talented batting prodigies of the caliber of Sarfaraz Khan are not inducted into the Mumbai team especially since it looks like Mumbai has nearly qualified with 3 outright wins and one tie with Delhi.We all know what Sachin did at age 14 when given an opportunity.

  • jimbond on December 3, 2013, 5:46 GMT

    Hope Tambe gets picked for the world T20 for India as well. However, I think it is time for Harmeet Singh and Sarfraz Khan to move to some other team, preferably some C group team where they will get chances to play some decent first class teams and make their presence felt.

  • NP_NY on December 3, 2013, 5:45 GMT

    This guy's story is so inspiring, they can make a movie on him!

  • anupamkr on December 3, 2013, 5:21 GMT

    This is good news. Congratulations to Pravin Tambe. Really liked the reason given by the chief selector Deepak Jadhav for Pravin's selection.Hope that Pravin plays in the match and does well.

  • on December 3, 2013, 17:12 GMT

    Tambe is the best legspinner in the whole world. There will never be another Pravin Tambe.

  • on December 3, 2013, 11:39 GMT

    Padmakar Shivalkar played for Bombay at 48. It is gutsy for Mumbai to have selected Tambe and he deserves it fully. He should play for India t 20. Hope in longer version Tambe does well for his team

  • Sunman81 on December 3, 2013, 10:23 GMT

    Congrats Tambe! This shows his strong Perseverance and mental strength. Having said that, it is rather unfortunate to see a strong team like Mumbai doesn't have a talented spin bowler in the waiting... Managing resources is the key aspect in sports and one would hope that Indian domestic team follows it maintain the balance of the team.

  • 11_Warrior on December 3, 2013, 10:16 GMT

    Is Mumbai lack quality spinners?

  • Naresh28 on December 3, 2013, 9:17 GMT

    Tambe is certainly an inspiration to youngsters. Give it your best shot and recognition will come. I dont see Tambe playing at higher level (cause of age) - but maybe he could be a coach for youngsters?

  • ravi_hari on December 3, 2013, 8:10 GMT

    I am happy for Tambe. Atleast he can show to his kids that after toiling so hard in leagues he is finally in the Ranji squad. I dont think MCA should look at age as Jadhav rightly mentioned. If he can bowl well and pick wickets why not? He has shown in the CL that he can trouble batsmen with his variations. Today's batsmen are not good players of spin. That will help him get wickets and if he succeeds it is worth the try. He can play for a couple of seasons and can groom a couple of youngsters to take over from him. He can atleast qualify for a spin coach job later if he can play Ranji and T20 internationals for a couple of years. As Jadhav rightly pointed out Tambe's attitude is the most positive one and he derserves a place in the XI. Mumbai should not keep him in the reserves. Give him a couple of chances and see whether he can do it. If he succeeds he can continue otherwise you will have a reason to drop him. Anyway RR will not leave him for atleast the coming season.

  • on December 3, 2013, 6:12 GMT

    The selection of Tambe is Going Backwards is all I can say. It is not as if Mumbai is in a dire situation. A 40 year old cricketer makes his Ranji debut (presumably) and probably after a few years of good performance can play for India. Should be 45 by then.Except for romanticism this decision makes no sense. I am unaware why talented batting prodigies of the caliber of Sarfaraz Khan are not inducted into the Mumbai team especially since it looks like Mumbai has nearly qualified with 3 outright wins and one tie with Delhi.We all know what Sachin did at age 14 when given an opportunity.

  • jimbond on December 3, 2013, 5:46 GMT

    Hope Tambe gets picked for the world T20 for India as well. However, I think it is time for Harmeet Singh and Sarfraz Khan to move to some other team, preferably some C group team where they will get chances to play some decent first class teams and make their presence felt.

  • NP_NY on December 3, 2013, 5:45 GMT

    This guy's story is so inspiring, they can make a movie on him!

  • anupamkr on December 3, 2013, 5:21 GMT

    This is good news. Congratulations to Pravin Tambe. Really liked the reason given by the chief selector Deepak Jadhav for Pravin's selection.Hope that Pravin plays in the match and does well.

  • InsideHedge on December 3, 2013, 5:15 GMT

    Good Luck to him, it's a fairy tale story. Here's hoping for a successful debut.

  • Rodc on December 3, 2013, 4:10 GMT

    what about harmeet Singh ? why is he not playing ? why does player like shabaz khan not get a chance in mumbai squad? and how the hell did a man who has played only 6 first class matches be the chief selector of Mumbai ,when there are hundreds of test player available for the post.

  • DrDileep on December 3, 2013, 2:19 GMT

    Congratulation!You inspire us to do well and give our best.It is never too late.You deserve more.We are proud of you.Good Luck!

  • on December 2, 2013, 19:29 GMT

    Tambe is your hardworking maidan cricketer and I am happy for him. Wish he does well and sets the tournament on fire...best of luck mate. Keep them spinning

  • on December 2, 2013, 17:23 GMT

    wishing good luck for tambe. i think age is no criteria when he is fit and passionate and has potential in him . he can play any level of cricket, see the Aussies.

  • Fullcover on December 2, 2013, 16:18 GMT

    On one hand I feel happy for Tambe and on the other hand the lack of talented spinners in domestic circuit worries me. Any talented young spinners in domestic circuit??

  • on December 2, 2013, 15:43 GMT

    Performance not age should be the criteria. Why not? Sachin is still better than many youngsters. In Sachin's case we can agree that he needed to give youngsters a chance. But poor Tambe - why did he have to wait so long for a Ranji call up? Yes to have an older player amidst youngsters is not great for the dressing room at times but not always. The captain and team management must ensure that the younger players accept the older one. The older player might have a different fitness routine and exceptions. Or he might be the odd one out. But it can be dealt with as long as the older player contributes. There are some who are fitter at 40 than a 25 year old. The reflex might be on the decline at 40 + but it is not a rule. If the older player can make a difference performance-wise, then why not include him for a couple of years? One of the benefits of IPL! Good luck Tambe.

  • CricketMaan on December 2, 2013, 15:13 GMT

    T20 is different from 4 dayers and will test his fitness. Good e.g. for others, but highly optimistic to have a 42 yr old in a 4 day game. Good luck.

  • LegSpinBowlr on December 2, 2013, 14:46 GMT

    Nice to see him getting selected for mumbai, If he does perform well he might get a chance to be in the squad for T20 wc

  • Thaga2011 on December 2, 2013, 14:39 GMT

    I may be too optimistic.. but Sandeep Patil and co should be thinking about WC T20I in Bangladesh next year.. I am pretty sure Tambe's decades of exp in Kanga league and his recent soft tranformation at International level (CLT20 is world league) should have tempted selectors to throw their dice at him. I wont be surprised if Tambe plays for India-at least for one tournament.

  • VinodGupte on December 2, 2013, 13:23 GMT

    he can bowl well in tests. i expect him to take many wickets in this season.

  • goindiago2012 on December 2, 2013, 13:08 GMT

    I know I may be speeding things along too quickly, especially given that he just made the Ranji team, but having Tambe as the T20I spinner for India isn't a bad idea at all. Of course, he's not getting younger, but for the World T20 especially presumably spinning pitches in Bangladesh, Tambe's experience would be great to have. Plus, his stellar economy rate in the CLT20 is a great asset, especially considering that Ashwin can be expensive in T20 especially, and Jadeja needs some help on that front. Either Tambe or Amit Mishra deserved to be the second spinner in that Indian team for the World T20. Thoughts?

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  • goindiago2012 on December 2, 2013, 13:08 GMT

    I know I may be speeding things along too quickly, especially given that he just made the Ranji team, but having Tambe as the T20I spinner for India isn't a bad idea at all. Of course, he's not getting younger, but for the World T20 especially presumably spinning pitches in Bangladesh, Tambe's experience would be great to have. Plus, his stellar economy rate in the CLT20 is a great asset, especially considering that Ashwin can be expensive in T20 especially, and Jadeja needs some help on that front. Either Tambe or Amit Mishra deserved to be the second spinner in that Indian team for the World T20. Thoughts?

  • VinodGupte on December 2, 2013, 13:23 GMT

    he can bowl well in tests. i expect him to take many wickets in this season.

  • Thaga2011 on December 2, 2013, 14:39 GMT

    I may be too optimistic.. but Sandeep Patil and co should be thinking about WC T20I in Bangladesh next year.. I am pretty sure Tambe's decades of exp in Kanga league and his recent soft tranformation at International level (CLT20 is world league) should have tempted selectors to throw their dice at him. I wont be surprised if Tambe plays for India-at least for one tournament.

  • LegSpinBowlr on December 2, 2013, 14:46 GMT

    Nice to see him getting selected for mumbai, If he does perform well he might get a chance to be in the squad for T20 wc

  • CricketMaan on December 2, 2013, 15:13 GMT

    T20 is different from 4 dayers and will test his fitness. Good e.g. for others, but highly optimistic to have a 42 yr old in a 4 day game. Good luck.

  • on December 2, 2013, 15:43 GMT

    Performance not age should be the criteria. Why not? Sachin is still better than many youngsters. In Sachin's case we can agree that he needed to give youngsters a chance. But poor Tambe - why did he have to wait so long for a Ranji call up? Yes to have an older player amidst youngsters is not great for the dressing room at times but not always. The captain and team management must ensure that the younger players accept the older one. The older player might have a different fitness routine and exceptions. Or he might be the odd one out. But it can be dealt with as long as the older player contributes. There are some who are fitter at 40 than a 25 year old. The reflex might be on the decline at 40 + but it is not a rule. If the older player can make a difference performance-wise, then why not include him for a couple of years? One of the benefits of IPL! Good luck Tambe.

  • Fullcover on December 2, 2013, 16:18 GMT

    On one hand I feel happy for Tambe and on the other hand the lack of talented spinners in domestic circuit worries me. Any talented young spinners in domestic circuit??

  • on December 2, 2013, 17:23 GMT

    wishing good luck for tambe. i think age is no criteria when he is fit and passionate and has potential in him . he can play any level of cricket, see the Aussies.

  • on December 2, 2013, 19:29 GMT

    Tambe is your hardworking maidan cricketer and I am happy for him. Wish he does well and sets the tournament on fire...best of luck mate. Keep them spinning

  • DrDileep on December 3, 2013, 2:19 GMT

    Congratulation!You inspire us to do well and give our best.It is never too late.You deserve more.We are proud of you.Good Luck!