How far is one willing to go for his or her dreams? “Kaun Pravin Tambe,” asks that question. Every professional cricketer knows that in their late thirties, they will probably have to call it off. There are a handful who have gone above the 40 year age mark and played at an international level. Pravin wanted to start at 41 years old. People thought he was mad. But he had this desire to play in the Ranji (a domestic cricket tournament in India) for his state team.
Every year, Pravin would go for the Ranji trials, and every year the selectors ignored him for some or other reason. Hardships and disappointments had become an everyday part of Tambe’s life. But there was something inside the man that never let him give up. He kept on trying because cricket was his first love. He had no plan B ever. It was all or nothing. He was ready to sacrifice his life for that one opportunity to sport the Mumbai Team jersey. Today, in a world where materialism is everything and even the slightest of inconvenience has the potential to make us change the course of our lives, how was this man so illogical and insane to think that he could still play professional cricket at his age? So let’s try to understand this madness that kept Pravin Tambe going.
‘Kaun Pravin Tambe’ Plot Summary
Pravin Tambe had taken a job at D.Y. Patil Sports Academy because they were allowing him to be a part of their cricket team. He tells his boss, Abey Kuruvilla, who was once a colleague and played in the “Orient Shipping Company” team together with Pravin, that he wants to play once for the state Ranji Team. Abey thinks that the man has lost his mind. He tells him that his growing age is a fact that the selectors won’t overlook. But still, a 40-year old Pravin goes to Ranji trials, and, once again, the on-field officials are amazed by his fitness and by his bowling skills.
Pravin wakes up the next morning and hastily goes through the newspaper to check if his name was there or not. Once again, he gets disappointed. For years, the selectors had stalled him, and now they were saying that he had become too old for the game. Pravin could feel the anger in his bones. He got this sudden feeling of helplessness where he was pushed back from doing what he was always destined to do. He loses his calm demeanor and shouts at his wife, who tells him to go after a stable job, instead of wasting his time for a game that wasn’t giving anything in return to him.
In 1984, a 12-year-old Pravin was stopped from entering the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai because he didn’t have the money to buy tickets. That day, a dream was born, and Pravin Tambe decided that someday his family would see him play and enjoy the match from a VIP cabin. Years passed, and Pravin started playing in a lot of local leagues. But nothing was so substantial that he could aid his family financially. His elder brother Prashant, who was an engineer, was the biggest supporter Pravin had. He knew that his beloved younger brother would do something good with his life.
What Problem Did Rajat Sanyal Have With Pravin Tambe?
Rajat Sanyal was the chief sports journalist for The Pioneer. He was asked to cover the Times Shield tournament, where he saw Pravin for the first time. The “Orient Shipping Company” team was short of one player, and Pravin had convinced his friend, Ajay, to let him play for them. A person who was not an employee of the company couldn’t legally speak on their behalf. But Pravin took the risk as he thought that nobody would care to notice. The head of the cricket division, Jamil, knew that a problem could arise. He told his subordinate to prepare an appointment letter for Pravin, which was dated six months back. Post-match there was an argument where the opponent team was challenging the Orient teams’ decision to allow an outsider to play for them. Rajat Sanyal also came to the scene and corroborated it with evidence. But just then, the appointment letter is shown to the opponent team, and the dispute is settled. Not only does Pravin win the match for the Orient Shipping Company, but he also gets a much-needed job offer. Rajat Sanyal had taken a dislike to the enthusiastic cricketer. He just didn’t like how he got the better of him in front of everybody and almost mocked his authority. Pravin had nothing to do with it, but just became collateral damage between the clashing egos.
Jamil wanted to create a team that could win the Times shield, and in return, Players like Tambe got an opportunity to create a space for themselves in the Ranji team. But neither did the Orient win the Times Shield, nor did Pravin get selected for the Ranji. Vidya Paradkar was hired as the coach of the team. He had an excellent reputation and had trained many players who had made it into the Indian team. Vidya Paradkar was of the opinion that Pravin should do spin bowling instead of medium pace. Pravin, at the start, doesn’t agree to it, and he feels that everybody is just trying to spoil his game so that some other younger player can take his position. But eventually, Pravin decides to give it a shot. From being a medium-fast bowler, he had now become a spin bowler.
Rajat Sanyal had this growing enmity inside him against Pravin Tambe for no apparent reason. Maybe he was angry because he himself couldn’t make it as a professional cricketer. Or maybe it was the interactions that he had with Pravin over a period of time.
Whatever Pravin did or said was taken in the wrong way. Rajat had a prejudice against Pravin and never gave him credit for being a good bowler. He had this preconceived notion where he believed that Pravin was just a rookie and wasn’t meant for the big stage. Pravin’s coach, Vidya Paradkar, debated with Rajat Sanyal and told him that he would make it to the big stage no matter what opinions Rajat held.
‘Kaun Pravin Tambe’ Ending, Explained – Was Pravin Ever Able To Play Ranji?
There was a moment in Pravin’s life when he thought it was all over. He was 41 years old, and Abey Kuruvilla had also advised him to stop this endless chase. He was also offered the position of coach of the D.Y. Patil Sports Academy. He argued that he was still playing for the team, and giving up that to become the coach was not an option that he was considering. But the people in the sports academy were adamant that he should become a coach and train and groom other young players.
All these years, Pravin had managed to keep his dream alive somehow. He worked for people who allowed him to play or where the companies had their own teams that competed in different leagues. When that didn’t work, he started doing a job as a waiter at night to sustain his household, and during the daytime, he used to practice.
But the human spirit can endure to a certain extent. Pravin realized that maybe the universe never wanted him to play Ranji. He becomes hollow from the inside as he sees his dream being shattered into pieces. But just at the moment, he was internally about to give up, the unthinkable happened. Pravin Tambe got a call from the legendary cricketer Rahul Dravid to be a part of the Rajasthan Royals team in the Indian Premier League (IPL). He couldn’t process what was happening. It felt surreal.
Pravin Tambe created history by taking a hattrick in a match against the Kolkata Knight Riders. He was the leading wicket-taker in the league and was awarded the purple cap for the same. But Pravin didn’t stop there. He was selected in the Mumbai Ranji team and finally fulfilled his long-awaited dream.
The story of Pravin Tambe is one of hope. It is a story of willpower and stubbornness. But the film, directed by Jayprad Desai, lacks that adrenaline-pumping fervor. The film is devoid of a strong background score that is often helpful in elevating the scenes. The screenplay and the dialogues, written by Kapil Sawant and Kiran Yadnyopavit, do pack a punch, but are often let down by a lack of buildup. Shreyas Talpade is, indeed, the star of the film. He brings a genuineness and authenticity to the role that takes you back to Nagesh Kukunoor’s directorial venture, “Iqbal,” where Talpade played the protagonist. Though the film has its own merits, it had the potential to do much more.
“Kaun Pravin Tambe” is a 2022 Indian Sports Biopic Drama film directed by Jayprad Desai.