Vinod Kambli Needs To Get Over It (And So Do I)

Let me get this straight: 15 years after a teary Vinod Kambli ran off a cricket field, he decides to accuse his teammates of fixing the match. The evidence is shaky; apparently, it involves a very hazy recollection of a team meeting, the decision to bat second, and Navjot Singh Sidhu’s compulsive habit of wearing pads. Granted, that match — which ended with India crashing out of the 1996 World Cup — has always tormented the Indian cricket fan’s consciousness. How exactly does a team go from 98/1 to 120/8, and what is wrong with Bengali cricket fans? (I’ve written about my own night watching this game as a young pre-teen.)

Here’s what probably happened: Kambli is a nobody. He always held out promise for more, but he ended up the underachieving brother (and next to Tendulkar as a sibling, that’s a tough act to play). He tries to get on with his life, but he sees Navjot Singh Sidhu — a man found guilty of murder, mind you — enjoy a comeback as a member of parliament and, for a brief time, a national commentator. He sees his former captain Mohd. Azharuddin — a man found guilty of match-fixing and banned for life — enjoy a comeback as — sigh — a member of parliament. And all Kambli’s left with is those awful 1990s earrings.

For a better psychological assessment, read Dilip Preemachandran. So it’s hard not feel for the guy, but self-pity isn’t exactly a full-proof defense. The more interesting question is what that match meant for Indian cricket. Apart from signaling the rise of a very dangerous type of cricket nationalism, it also epitomized how much India relied on Tendulkar to get through the 1990s. It also left me with a perpetual nervous condition; even after all India’s cricket achievements in the past few years, I still await the batting collapse and the stray bottle on the field. Will it be like the 1990s again when the Big 3 retire?



2 thoughts on “Vinod Kambli Needs To Get Over It (And So Do I)

  1. yea correct! Infact he seems to be alil bit attention hungry! Some day or the other he comes up with something for the media. like ina reality show he said sachin did not help him!

  2. Rahul Sharma says:

    CBI starts investigation 0f 2G from 1996,it is good.Similarly, the fixing issue in cricket must also investigated. Azaharuddin,s assocoation with Congress Party should not be any consideration.

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