Kambli takes guard on political pitch

Kambli takes guard on political pitch

Mumbai: Former cricketer Vinod Kambli on Thursday began his political innings filing his nomination from suburban Vikhroli for the 13 October Maharashtra Assembly elections, aspiring to follow in the footsteps of bigwigs of the game like Navjot Singh Sidhu, Mohammed Azharuddin and Kirti Azad.

Vinod Ganpat Kambli, who turns 38 next January, travelled on a local train along with supporters to file papers as a candidate of political outfit ‘Lok Bharti’, a constituent of Ramdas Athavale-led Republican Left Democratic Front (RLDF).

“I started my innings as a cricketer travelling by train and so I wanted to begin my new innings that way (travelling by train)," Kambli, the once swashbuckling left hand batsman, who has to his credit 1084 runs from 17 tests and 2477 from 104 ODIs, told reporters.

Asked if his childhood friend and cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar would stump for him during the electioneering, Kambli replied in the negative.

“Sachin is busy with cricket but his (good) wishes are always with me," Kambli said of Tendulkar with whom his relations had reportedly come under strain after he said on a TV show that one of the all-time greats of the game did not help him when he had fallen on bad times.

Kambli and Tendulkar had hogged limelight when aged 17 and 16 years respectively they put on a world record unbroken 664-run partnership playing for Shardashram school.

Whether the former cricketer, who hit the first ball he received in his Ranji Trophy debut match for a six is a hit with voters or himself goes for a six only time will tell.