An Introduction to Kambli Vinodh Kambli Forgotten Dalit Cricketer

Kambli became the first cricketer in cricket history to score a century in a One-day International on his birthday.

Aug 2, 2021 - 17:29
An Introduction to Kambli Vinodh Kambli Forgotten Dalit Cricketer

Vinod Kambli born 18 January 1972) is a former Indian cricketer, who played for India as a left-handed middle-order batsman, as well as for Mumbai and Boland, South Africa. Kambli became the first cricketer in cricket history to score a century in a One-day International on his birthday.

Vinod Kambli has the highest career batting average for an Indian test cricketer of 54 but Vinod Kambli played his last Test when he was just 23 years old. Thereafter, he was only considered to play for one-day international matches, although his last appearance in that format was also at the young age of 28.

Vinod Kambli has appeared as a commentator on various television channels and worked with a Marathi News channel as a cricket expert for the 2019 Cricket World Cup.

Vinod Kambli has also been a part of various reality shows and has done a few serials and Bollywood films as an actor. Vinod Kambli played a supporting role in the Kannada film Bettanagere. Kambli is currently a coach at the MCA Academy in Mumbai and TMGA Camps run by Sachin Tendulkar and Middlesex County Cricket Club.

Vinod Kambli hails from Indira Nagar, Kanjur Marg (Mumbai), He is a childhood friend of the Indian cricketer, Sachin Tendulkar. The small patch of land that served as his first cricket pitch was surrounded on all sides by high-rise buildings.

The scoring system was dictated by the lack of space, and the higher a batsman hit the ball into the buildings the more runs he scored. It explains why Kambli was one of the best over-the-top hitters of spin bowling.

He shared an unbroken partnership of 664 runs with Sachin Tendulkar in a school cricket match against St. Xavier's School, Fort. Kambli contributed 349 runs before their coach Acharekar forced the pair to declare the innings; he then took six wickets for 37 runs in St. Xavier's first innings.

Kambli started his Ranji Trophy career with a six off the first ball he faced. He made his One Day International and Test debuts in 1991 and 1992, respectively. In Tests, he made four centuries including two double-centuries. He also holds the record for the Indian player to fastest (14 innings) reach 1000 runs in Tests.

Journalist Kunal Purandare has penned his biography called Vinod Kambli: The Lost Hero

Vinod Kambli scored 224 against England at Wankhede Stadium in 1993 as his maiden test century in his third test. In the next test against Zimbabwe, he scored 227. In his next test series, he scored 125 and 120 against Sri Lanka. He is also the only cricketer to hit three consecutive test centuries in three innings, all centuries against different countries. In his 17 Tests, he averaged 69.13 in the first innings, and just 9.40 in the second innings, with a difference of 59.73. He made his ODI debut in 1991 against Pakistan during the Wills Sharjah Trophy. 

Vinod Kambli played world cup tournaments in 1992 and 1996. He has 2 ODI centuries into his credit: 100 not out against England at Jaipur in 1993 on his birthday, setting the record for becoming the first batsman to score an ODI hundred on his birthday and 106 against Zimbabwe at Kanpur in the 1996 World Cup. 

Vinod Kambli played his last Test match at the age of only 24 while he played his last ODI in the year 2000 and formally announced his retirement from first-class cricket on 22 September 2011. An innings-by-innings breakdown of Kambli's Test match batting career, showing runs scored (red bars) and the average of the last ten innings (blue line). He played for Boland province in the South African domestic circuit.

On 15 August 2009, Kambli launched his Khel Bharti Sports Academy in Mumbai and announced his retirement from cricket as he wished to coach at Khel Bharti Academy.

Vinod Kambli first married Noella Lewis, who was working as a receptionist at Hotel Blue Diamond (in Pune) in the year 1998.

After separating from her Kambli married fashion model Andrea Hewitt. The couple has a child born in June 2010. After his marriage to his second wife Andrea, Kambli converted to Christianity, naming his son Jesus Christiano Kambli. Despite his conversion, Kambli stated that he still respects all religions.

Vinod Kambli joined the Bhakti Shakti Party and was appointed vice-president of the party. He contested the 2009 Assembly election from Vikhroli, Mumbai as a Lok Bharati Party candidate and lost the election. However, he continues to do social work. In 2011, he supported Anna Hazare's campaign of India against Corruption. 

Vinod Kambli made his debut on the small screen on DD National in a serial called Miss India in 2002. He also was a contestant on Bigg Boss.


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