Former cricket world cup-winning captain of India Kapil Dev has cited Vinod Kambli’s example to warn budding players against becoming distracted by sudden success. The fast bowling veteran reminded the young generation that Kambli earned laurels in international cricket during his early career in the 1990s, scoring a lot of runs. However, he quickly lost his form and failed to cash in on possibilities that came up in the latter stages of his career.
Explaining why it was crucial for young players to stay focused, Kapil Dev drew a contrast between Kambli and his bosom friend Sachin Tendulkar. Kambli made 1,084 runs in 17 Tests and played 104 ODIs to score 2,477 runs for India. Tendulkar, contrasting in records, retired from cricket nothing lesser than a legend.
“There will always be two types of cricketers. I played with both Sachin Tendulkar and Vinod Kambli. They both emerged as the next big thing in Indian cricket. Vinod was an equally gifted player and had no shortcomings, but he started deviating when the focus must have been on his game,” Kapil Dev said during a felicitation ceremony of the U19 stars Raj Angad Bawa and Harnoor Singh last month.
Tendulkar started his journey at a very young age of 16 and scored over 34,000 international runs across all formats and 100 centuries before retiring from the sport. Tendulkar’s story has been motivating, as he worked hard for 24 years — throughout his career and put his talent and hard work to the best possible use.
“And when a player loses focus, all the fame he earns gradually starts fading away. In the end, one thing counts, and that’s performance, which ultimately determines whether one finishes as a great player or ends up a forgotten star,” Kapil Dev added.
Both Kambli and Tendulkar have played with Kapil Dev at the outset of their careers. It has been 28 years since Dev’s retirement and he is probably one of the best players that India has produced so far.