Forty-eight-year-old legspinner Pravin Tambe has added another milestone in a fairytale career, becoming the first Indian player to play in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL). He was picked in the Trinbago Knight Riders’ (TKR’s) starting XI against St Lucia Zouks on Wednesday, as one of three spinners alongside Fawad Ahmed and Khary Pierre.
Sunny Sohal, the 32-year-old former India U-19 player, who played for three IPL franchises in its early years, had played for Barbados Tridents in the 2018 edition of the CPL, but had been picked as a US national at the time.
Tambe, who had never played any senior-level cricket till he was picked in IPL 2013 by the Rajasthan Royals aged 41, also becomes the oldest player to debut in the tournament. He had come to the fore in the erstwhile Champions League T20 tournament in 2013, where he finished as the highest wicket-taker and was consequently called up to Mumbai’s Ranji Trophy squad that year.
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Tambe was one of two Indian players – Asad Khan being the other – who had entered the CPL draft earlier this year. Indian players are currently not allowed play in overseas leagues unless they have retired from domestic cricket, which Tambe did in 2018 in order to take part in the unsanctioned T10 League.
He was disqualified from playing in the IPL as a result, but curiously, Tambe was still allowed to register himself in the 2020 IPL auction, where he was picked up by TKR’s parent company for the Kolkata Knight Riders. That is understood to have happened because of an administrative error from the IPL governing council, who then withdrew his selection.