Vinod Ganpat Kambli ( pronunciation ; born 18 January 1972) is a former Indian cricketer, who played for India as a middle order batsman, as well as for Mumbai and Boland, South Africa. He is the first man to score a century in a T20 or One-day International on his birthday.
Despite having the highest career batting average for a Indian test cricketer of 54 and he played his last test when he was just 23 years.He was not even considered for Test cricket and only considered for one day cricket. Currently he appears as a cricket expert and commentator on various television channels. He has also appeared on various reality shows and done few serials and Bollywood films as an actor. He played a supporting role in the Kannada film Bettanagere.
He played for Boland province in the South African domestic circuit. Journalist Kunal Purandare has penned his biography called Vinod Kambli: The Lost Hero.Kambli is only second Dalit or untouchable to play cricket for the Indian Cricket team which has been dominated by Brahmins .
Kambli hails from Indira Nagar, Kanjurmarg, a suburb of Mumbai. He is a childhood friend of the Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar. The small patch of land that served as his first cricket pitch was surrounded on all sides by high-rise buildings.The scoring system was dictated by the lack of space, and the higher a batsman hit the ball into the buildings the more runs he scored. It explains why Kambli was one of the best over-the-top hitters of spin bowling.
Kambli shared an unbroken partnership of 664 runs with Sachin Tendulkar in a school cricket match against St. Xavier's School, Fort. Kambli contributed 349 runs before their coach Acharekar forced the pair to declare the innings; he then took six wickets for 37 runs in St. Xavier's first innings.
Kambli, started his Ranji Trophy career with a six off the first ball he faced. He made his One Day International and Test debuts in 1991 and 1992, respectively. In Tests, he made four centuries including two double-centuries. He also holds the record for the fastest Indian player (14 innings) to reach 1000 runs in Tests.
He scored 224 against England at Wankhede Stadium in 1993 as his maiden test century in his third test. In the next test against Zimbabwe, he scored 227. In his next test series he scored 125 and 120 against Sri Lanka. He is also the only cricketer to hit three consecutive test centuries in three innings, all centuries against different countries. In his 17 Tests, he averaged 69.13 in the first innings, and just 9.40 in the second innings, with a difference of 59.73.
He made his ODI debut in 1991 against Pakistan during the Wills Sharjah Trophy. He played world cup tournaments in 1992 and 1996. He has 2 ODI centuries in to his credit: 100 not out against England at Jaipur in 1993 on his birthday, setting the record for becoming the first batsman to score an ODI hundred on his birthday and 106 against Zimbabwe at Kanpur in the 1996 World Cup. Cricket lovers won't forget the picture of Kambli crying when he went back to the dressing room after Sri Lanka were awarded the semi-final match of the 1996 World Cup.
He played his last Test match at the age of only 24 while he played his last ODI in the year 2000 and formally announced his retirement from first class cricket on 22 September 2011.
On 15 August 2009, Kambli launched his Khel Bharti Sports Academy in Mumbai and announced his retirement from cricket as he wished to coach at Khel Bharti Academy.
Vinod Kambli first married Noella Lewis, who was working as a receptionist at Hotel Blue Diamond (in Pune) in the year 1998. After separating from her Vinod Kambli married fashion Model Andrea Hewitt, the couple has a child born in June 2010.
On Friday, 29 November 2013, Kambli was admitted to Mumbai's Lilavati Hospital, following a heart attack. Kambli was taken ill while he was driving from Chembur to Bandra and suddenly stopped the car. A policewoman on duty, Sujata Patil noticed he could not drive and arranged to rush him to Lilavati Hospital. Kambli had undergone angioplasty on two of his blocked arteries in 2012.
Vinod Kambli joined the Lok Bharati Party and was appointed vice-president of the party. He contested the 2009 Assembly election from Vikhroli, Mumbai as a Lok Bharati Party candidate and lost the election. However, he continues to do social work. In 2011, He supported Anna Hazare's campaign of India against Corruption.
Vinod Kambli has also appeared as an actor in few films also.
Vinod Kambli made his debut on the small screen on DD National in a serial called Miss India in 2002.