The Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) senior selection committee has picked 42-year-old Pravin Tambe for forthcoming Ranji Trophy game against Jharkhand,scheduled from December 6 to 9 at the Wankhede Stadium.
Deepak Jadhav,the chairman of the selection committee,said that the veteran leg-spinner had earned his cap based on his performances in local and club cricket.
He has been performing in local cricket for past few years. The committee felt that Tambe should be picked given his performance. Age was never an issue and his experience will certainly help, Jadhav said.
It has been a great cricketing year for Tambe. He was picked for the Mumbai the one day side and then played in the IPL for the Rajashthan Royals. Tambe finished as the highest wicket-taker in the Champions League where his team were runner-up to the Mumbai Indians.
Tambe said it was always his dream to wear Mumbais lion-crested jersey one day. When any cricketer starts to play cricket in Mumbai,his dream is to earn that Mumbai lion jersey. Finally,I will have one. It came late but it came, Tambe told The Indian Express. It proves hard work always pays off,
What favoured Tambes selection was his five wicket-haul in the Kanga League that came on eve of the selection meeting. He got two wickets in last over of the match,which the selectors noticed.
Tambe,who replaces Iqbal Abdullah dropped due to form never thought of making it into the longer format even after doing well in T20.
The longer format needs patience and fitness,and I have maintained both. If I make my debut,then I will bank on 20 years of local experience in maidaan cricket, Tambe said.
Jadhav adds that the selectors wanted to send a message to the youngsters that performance,irrespective of age,would be the key.
We dont want youngsters to take this Mumbai cap very lightly. It comes after hard work and performance, Jadhav said. Tambes attitude is positive. He might be 42,but he is still passionate. He will take wickets and the hunger is still there,which makes him the ideal candidate for the spot.
Abhishek Nayar will lead Mumbais 15-member squad after Zaheer Khan flew out to South Africa with the Indian team.