Pravin Tambe believes that one's age is what one feels and at 48, the Mumbai leg-spinner doesn't think that he is one day older than 20.
On a day when youngsters went unsold at the IPL auctions on Thursday, the former Rajasthan Royals leg-spinner, who was the oldest player in the list, was snapped up by Kolkata Knight Riders at his base price of Rs 20 lakh.
"I still play with a mindset like I am a 20-year-old young," Tambe, who has an 18-year-old son, told PTI from Mumbai.
"I will bring all my experience and energy to the team. And that positivity. I know that I can bring that, even if I'm with them not playing."
He doesn't feel that age will be an impediment. "People say many things but I keep doing my job and put in a lot of hard work. I will like to do well in whatever role given to me be it in fielding or bowling. It's not to prove anything. If that was the case, I could not have played so long. I'm really excited to play for them," Tambe, who works as a sports teacher at DY Patil, said.
"My family has supported me all these years. They keep inspiring me. KKR must have seen something in me to have bought me. I'm grateful to KKR team management. I want to give them back. If you get the support, you can go a long way," Tambe said.
While Tambe's passion for cricket still drives him crazy, his son has chosen academics and is now studying to become an engineer.
"My son never wanted to be a cricketer he has chosen engineering as his profession."
It was Tambe, who clinched a hat-trick (3/26) against Kolkata Knight Riders to spin Rajasthan to victory by 10 runs in IPL 2014 in Ahmedabad.
"I distinctly remember the moment. I'm really proud to be playing for the same team now. It was a match-winning show and my dream now would be to give a similar match-winning performance for KKR," he said.
Tambe will look to fill in the void left by Piyush Chawla who was released by KKR and was bought by Chennai Super Kings at the auction.
"I knew I would fit in as a back-up player. They did not have many spinners left in the slot. I'm just focusing on performing well. I don't want to bother what people are talking about," said Tambe, knowing fully well that questions will be raised about the logic behind buying a 48-year-old instead of a rookie who has future in this game.
"I never played cricket to achieve anything. I love this game and that's what has kept me going always," said Tambe, who was last in the news for reporting a corrupt approach from his erstwhile Mumbai Ranji Trophy teammate Hiken Shah.
Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.
The 35-year-old right-hander from Karnataka had scored just 196 runs in 12 matches in the last IPL in UAE after being picked up by Rajasthan Royals at the last IPL auctions.
Malinga, who has played a staggering 122 IPL matches, has 170 wickets to his credit, the highest in the cash-rich league, with the best bowling figures of 5/13.
Mohammed Azharuddeen shot into the national limelight recently with his 37-ball 100 in the domestic T20 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy match against Mumbai.