Vinod Kambli is a former Indian Cricketer who played for the Indian National Cricket team from 1991 to 2000. He is also a cricket coach at his Khel Bharti Sports Academy and MCA (Mumbai Cricket Association) Academy. He is a childhood friend of Sachin Tendulkar. Apart from playing Cricket, he also tried his hand in the field of acting and appeared in a couple of films.
Vinod Kambli was born on Tuesday, 18 January 1972 (age: 47 years, as in 2019) in Bombay (Now, Mumbai), Maharashtra, India. He received his primary education from Our Lady of Dolours, Marine Lines, Mumbai and later, he moved to Shardashram Vidyamandir, Dadar, Mumbai. His educational qualification is only the 10th standard. He lived in a poor family of 18 members in a Chawl in Mumbai. His father was a mechanic. Since childhood, he had a desire to be a Cricketer. He used to play this game a lot.
He, Sachin Tendulkar, and Ricky Couto (a classmate of Sachin and Kambli) used to play together at Shivaji Park under the guidance of their coach, Ramakant Achrekar.
Earlier the trio (Sachin, Kambli, and Ricky) studied in different schools, however, later, on the suggestion of their coach, Ramakant Achrekar, they admitted to Shardashram Vidyamandir in Dadar. In childhood, Kambli and Sachin Tendulkar made a record partnership of 664 runs for Sharadashram Vidyamandir, which piled 748 for two wickets against St Xavier’s School during the semi-final of the Harris Shield tournament. In that innings, Kambli scored 349 runs not out. The duo was stopped by their coach Ramakant Achrekar, who forced them to declare the innings.
Kambli was born to Ganpat Kambli and Vijaya Kambli.
He has three brothers; Virendra Kambli, Vidyadhar Kambli, Vikas Kambli and a sister, Vidya Kambli.
In 1998, he got married to Noella Lewis who was working as a receptionist at Hotel Blue Diamond in Pune.
Later, the couple got divorced and Kambli got married to a fashion model, Andrea Hewitt. He has a son, named Jesus Christiano Kambli with Andrea Hewitt.
During the 1989-90 season, he made his First-Class debut for Mumbai. In his first match of Ranji Trophy, he hit the first ball for six. Due to his good performance in the first-class cricket, he was selected to the national side and made his ODI debut against Pakistan in 1991. In the next year, he made his Test debut against England in Eden Garden Stadium. His first ODI hundred came against England in 1993 on the day of his birthday. He scored his first Test century against England in his second Test match. He scored 224 runs.
In the next Test match, he again scored a double hundred (227 runs) against Zimbabwe. Due to his consecutive centuries, he became the fastest Indian batsman to score 1000 runs in just 14 innings. In his Test career, he scored four centuries. When he was only 24 years old, he played his last Test match in 1995 against New Zealand. His decline in cricket started after the 1996 Cricket World Cup. His form also dipped, as he scored only one 50+ score in his last 22 ODI innings. On 29 October 2000, he played his last ODI. Thereafter, he could not manage his selection in the National Team again. Formally, he announced his retirement from all format of International cricket in 2009 and from the First-Class cricket in 2011.
- He held a record of the highest Test average (54.2) by an Indian (20 innings or more).
- In his early cricket career, he made a record of being the fastest Indian to score 1000 Test runs. As in 2019, he still holds the record.
- He is the first Indian cricketer and among a few cricketers to score an ODI century on his birthday, in a match against England in 1993.
- In 2009, he appeared on a reality show, ‘Sach Ka Saamna’ in which he said that his friend, Sachin Tendulkar could have helped him in his tough time. He also said that he was deeply hurt when Sachin did not mention his name in his retirement speech at the end of his 200th Test and did not invite him to the party he hosted following his retirement.
- In 2015, he and his wife were accused of torturing their maid, Soni Sarsal. His house-maid, Soni Sarsal also filed an FIR against Kambli and his wife. According to Soni Sarsal, Kambli and his wife, Andrea had not allowed her to return home and wrongfully confined her for three days when she asked them for the wages.”
- In July 2018, Kambli and his wife, Andrea were reported to have assaulted singer, Ankit Tiwari’s father, Raj Kumar Tiwari, in a mall in Mumbai. Raj Kumar Tiwari filed a complaint against Vinod Kambli and his wife for punching him in a mall.
- Food(s): Mutton Biryani, Tandoori Chicken, Fried Fish
- Once he revealed that he stole something from his home to buy a cricket bat.
- In childhood, Kambli would travel with his kit in the crowded local trains from Kanjurmarg to Shivaji Park for practice.
- When Sachin Tendulkar made his International debut, Kambli was selected for India U-19.
- Kambli and Tendulkar did a Pepsi commercial with the then-captain, Mohammad Azharuddin.
- When team India lost semi-final in the 1996 Cricket World Cup to Sri Lanka, Kambli came to the dressing room in tears.
- When he was dropped from team India, he played for the Boland province in a domestic league of South Africa.
- In 2002, he tried his luck in acting; he was first given chance in Ravi Dewan’s film, ‘Annarth,’ starring Sanjay Dutt and Suniel Shetty. In 2009, he also appeared in another Bollywood film, ‘Pal Pal Dil Ke Ssaat.’ In 2015, Kambli was seen in a Kannada film, Bettanagere.
- In 2009, he joined a political party, Lok Bharati Party. He was made the Vice-President of the party. He also contested the 2009 Maharashtra Assembly Elections from the Vikhroli seat but lost the elections by a huge margin.
- On 15 August 2009, he launched a Cricket Academy named ‘Khel Bharti Sports Academy’ in Mumbai. The same year, he also took part in the 3rd season of Bigg Boss.
- In 2010, Kambli embraced Christianity. He was baptized at the St Peter’s Church, Bandra, Mumbai.
- In 2011, he supported Anna Hazare’s campaign of India against Corruption. In the same year, journalist, Kunal Purandare wrote his biography, titled ‘Vinod Kambli: The Lost Hero.’
- On 29 November 2013, Kambli suffered a Heart Attack while driving and he was rushed to Mumbai’s Lilavati Hospital, where he recovered soon.
- In 2016, he made a guest appearance in Comedy Circus season 3.
- A BJP M.P., Dr. Udit Raj made a controversial tweet on 27 December 2016. He tweeted that Kambli was excluded from cricket because he was a Dalit. However, later, Kambli himself refuted such a statement by a tweet.
- According to sources, Kambli was set to join BJP in 2017. He also met the 18th Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis, and discussed matters related to sports in the villages of the state.