Vinod Kambli: 'Coach thought I won't wake up after 10 pegs, I scored a hundred'
Suriving on a measly 30,000 rupees pension from BCCI, Vinod Kambli is on the look for a paying gig with MCA.
Once the next big thing of Indian batting, Vinod Kambli is now a controversial figure within Indian cricket. Kambli is a retired cricketer battling through the realities of life after quitting the field and surviving on 30,000 rupees a month he receives as a pension from the BCCI.
He is on the look to transform himself for the better and is ready to quit his flashy lifestyle in order to land a job with the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) in any non-playing capacity that the board requires.
As he struggles to make ends meet, the former India Test cricketer says he is willing to ditch his longstanding habit of consuming alcohol if that helps him improve his image in front of the MCA and BCCI decision-makers.
This, a major change from times when he once self-admittedly indulged during a Ranji Trophy match for Mumbai, an incident he recalled in an interview with Mid-Day, stating how coach Balvinder Singh Sandhu was worried whether he would turn up for his innings but he went on to smash a ton.
Vinod Kambli recalls indulging in alcohol during a Ranji match
Vinod Kambli reminisced of the episode during his interview, recalling how he regathered control over himself even after "10 pegs" of alcohol and still scored a hundred for Mumbai in India's premier domestic first-class competition.
“Our coach Balvinder Singh Sandhu was worried whether I would wake up on time. I did and scored a hundred," Kambli said.
While there is a sense of openness about Kambli's admission and a pledge to ditch his current ways if he lands an MCA coaching gig, Kambli holds no regret for indulging. He insists, however, that he is only a social drinker. "Who doesn’t do it," he asks.
He also said he will never let his drinking habits get in the way of his work. "There are rules and regulations which everyone has to follow. If there are any rules that don’t allow you to do certain things, everyone must follow them. I will stop it [drinking] immediately if told to do so...no problem at all!"
Kambli said he would be willing to help Mumbai cricket in whatever capacity MCA deems fit for him. "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," he said.