In a historic move, there will be Indian flavour for the first time in the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) as leg-spinner Pravin Tambe at the age of 48 is set to play for the Trinbago Knight Riders (TKR) in the 2020 edition.
With the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) not allowing any of their players to play in franchise tournaments outside the Indian Premier League (IPL) Tambe's inclusion in the CPL has created a lot of attention.
Guardian Media Sports understands that Tambe was picked up in the draft on Wednesday by the TKR management. Tambe a late bloomer was picked up by the Kolkata Knight Riders for the 2020 Indian Premier League (IPL) but was denied the chance to be associated with the team as the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) disqualified him.
According to the Cricket Times, the reason for Tambe’s disqualification was his involvement in T10 League – a ten-over format tournament in the United Arab Emirates launched and owned by T Ten Sports Management. As per the rules of the Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI), a player can only participate in the overseas league after his retirement, and Tambe did retire in 2018 by informing his state board Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA). Therefore, he was legally ready to participate in the T10 League. However, after the conclusion of the 10-overs competition, Tambe came back and withdrew his decision.
The IPL chairman Brijesh Patel informed the franchise KKR about the decision regarding Tambe.
However, this year he then joined another 536 players who threw their hat into the ring at the CPL 2020 draft and was successful. The leg-spinner never even played for his City before he was plucked out of obscurity by the Rajasthan Royals in 2013. He was 41 years at the time and very prolific in T20 and T10 tournaments. He switched from medium pace to leg-spin and this changed the fortunes of the career.
After making a great IPL debut in 2013, the club cricketer Tambe went on to become the leading wicket-taker in the Champions League T20 later in the year. He picked up 12 wickets in the tournament at an average of 6.5. His performances that year earned him his maiden call-up for the Mumbai team in the 2013–14 Ranji Trophy.
In the 2014 IPL season, Tambe picked up a brilliant hat-trick against Kolkata Knight Riders. Ever since he was on the KKR radar and when picked up by the franchise he was denied permission to play by the BCCI.
In 33 IPL matches, he has taken 28 wickets at an average of 30.46 and an economy rate of 7.75.
At 48, Tambe became the oldest player to be bought at the IPL auction when KKR snapped him up for a base price of US$27,000. Tambe has already featured in the tournament, with a total of 33 appearances over four seasons (2013 to 2016) for three different franchises - Rajasthan Royals, Gujarat Lions, and Sunrisers Hyderabad. He has a tally of 28 wickets, 15 of which he picked in the 2014 season while turning out for Rajasthan Royals.
Tambe follows former Test player Yuvraj Singh as the second Indian player to play in T20 leagues outside the country. Yuvraj played in the Global T20 tournament last year in Canada.
Off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, who hasn't played for India since 2016 but is yet to retire, has his name in The Hundred draft in England, however, just before the draft, he took his name off the list in favour of continuing to play for CSK in the IPL.
The Pakistani-born American player Muhammad Ali Khan has also been snapped by at the draft and will return to the TKR for his third season. The fast bowler who has won the hearts of the people in Trinidad will be keen to get play again, as all the matches are carded for this country.
The CPL is scheduled to be held between August 18 and September 10 behind closed doors in T&T. On Thursday, the Cabinet was due to consider note and final approval is expected to come shortly.