Former India cricketer Vinod Kambli
Former India captain and fast bowling legend Kapil Dev used the example of Vinod Kambli to warn youngsters against losing their focus. Kambli rose to great heights in international cricket as he scored loads of runs in his young career at the start of the 1990s. But he lost his form soon and failed to make the most of the opportunities that came his way later in his career.
Kapil drew comparison between Kambli and his childhood mate Sachin Tendulkar to explain why it was important for young cricketers to stay focussed. Kambli scored 1084 runs in 17 Tests and 2477 runs in 104 ODIs for India. Tendulkar on the other hand retired from the sport as the highest run-getter in the history of cricket.
“Sometimes, youngsters take up something to impress others. I believe that it is important to love yourself first and bring passion to whatever you like. There are no substitutes for passion, hard work and commitment. Sachin Tendulkar is the perfect example of talent plus hard work. If you are talented but not hard-working enough, then you can go the Vinod Kambli way,” Kapil said at an event last month according to a Times of India report.
Kapil has in the past too cited Kambli’s example.
“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 had said in March 2022 while felicitating Under-19 World Cup stars Rajangad Bawa and Harnoor Singh Pannu, according to a Times of India report.
“And when a player loses focus, all the fame he earns gradually starts fading away. At 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,” the 1983 World Cup-winner added.
Kapil Dev had played with both Tendulkar and Kambli at the start of their respective careers in the Indian team. Kapil also had a stint as coach of the Indian team when Tendulkar was captain in the 1990s.
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