"I'm a retired cricketer, who is completely dependent on the pension from the BCCI" - Vinod Kambli opens up on his ongoing harrowing financial crisis
Former India cricketer Vinod Kambli opened up about his financial crisis as he struggles to make ends meet due to a lack of assignments. The southpaw, who retired from cricket in 2011, represented the country in 17 Tests and 104 ODIs and was once touted as the next big thing in Indian cricket.
Since his retirement, Kambli has taken up roles with the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) as their academy head coach. He also launched the Khel Bharti Sports Academy a couple of years before his final first-class game for Mumbai.
In a grueling economy, the former cricketer's only source of income is through the BCCI's pension, for which he is very grateful.
Explaining his financial crisis in depth, Kambli said in an interview with Mid Day:
“I am a retired cricketer, who is completely dependent on the pension from the BCCI. My only payment [source of income] at the moment is from the Board, for which I am really thankful and grateful. It takes care of my family.”
Kambli was thrust into the spotlight following his exploits in Mumbai suburban cricket. Most notably, he stitched together a world-record 664-run partnership with Sachin Tendulkar during a Harris Shield match while representing Shardashram Vidyamandir against St Xavier's High School in 1988.
The young cricketers were touted for greatness and found themselves in the senior national team as well, but their respective careers took different trajectories after a couple of years.
Kambli does not expect anything from his childhood friend, especially after he handed him the head coach role at the Tendulkar Middlesex Global Academy. The former cricketer added:
“He [Sachin] knows everything, but I am not expecting anything from him. He gave me the TMGA [Tendulkar Middlesex Global Academy] assignment. I was very happy. He has been a very good friend. He has always been there for me [places his hand on the academy logo].”
It is to be noted that the Mumbai-born cricketer suffered a heart attack in 2013. Before that, in 2012, he had undergone a double angioplasty to treat a couple of blockages in his arteries.
"I told the MCA many times that if you require me, I am there whether it is at the Wankhede Stadium or at BKC" - Vinod Kambli
Kambli's last assignment came in the form of a coaching role during the 2019 T20 Mumbai League. He has expressed his desire to work with the budding cricketers in the city and is open to any role offered by the cricket association.
Admitting that he could use any help the MCA could offer at the moment in terms of assignments, the former cricketer said:
"I need assignments, where I can work with youngsters. I know Mumbai have retained Amol [Muzumdar] as their head coach, but if anywhere I am needed, I am there. We have played together and we were a great team. That’s what I want them [current Mumbai team] to do...to play as a team."
"I was seeking help from the MCA. I came into the CIC [Cricket Improvement Committee], but it was an honorary job. I went to the MCA for some help. I have a family to look after. I told the MCA many times that if you require me, I am there whether it is at the Wankhede Stadium or at BKC. Mumbai cricket has given me a lot. I owe my life to this game.”
Do you feel Vinod Kambli could have turned a corner in his career had he availed of more chances during his playing days? Let us know what you think.