Vinod Kambli was born on 18th January 1972 in Mumbai in the Indian state of Maharashtra. He belonged to a poor family that lived in a chawl in Kanjurmarg, one of the suburbs of Mumbai. His father, who was a mechanic also a cricket player in Mumbai’s club circuit and honed his skill as a fast bowler.
In December 1989, Kambli was picked for the India under-19 team to play the Asia Youth Cup.
Kambli is in the elite league of batsmen to have begun their First-Class careers with a six when he made his debut for Bombay (now Mumbai) against Gujarat in 1989. He went on to register 72 in his team’s only innings in this drawn match which was played in Surat.
In February-March 1993, Kambli smashed back-to-back double centuries in Test cricket. He first smashed 224 against England at his home ground Wankhede Stadium and then followed it up with an innings of 227 against Zimbabwe in Delhi. After those back-to-back doubles, he scored a century in his next innings against Sri Lanka. He scored 125 against Sri Lanka in Colombo n July 1993. He thus has tons in three consecutive Test innings. Kambli took only 14 innings to get to 1,000 runs and remains the fastest Indian to reach the milestone.
He struggled in the second innings in Tests. While his first innings average is an amazing 69.13, the corresponding number for the second innings is a paltry 9.40. Having played just 17 matches, he never got a chance to improve on that.
Kambli scored an ODI ton on his birthday on January 18, 1993 at Jaipur where he scored an unbeaten 100 against England. Tendulkar and Ross Taylor are some of the other batsmen to have experienced a similar joy on their birthdays.
In 1996, India endured an embarrassing exit from the World Cup. In the midst of the dramatic scenes during the semi-final at Kolkata, Kambli walked back to the dressing room in tears. He was soon discarded from the team. From March 1996 to October 2000, he played his last ODI, Kambli featured in only 35 matches and averaged 19.31. In many ways, that semi-final turned out to be the beginning of his decline.
The southpaw last played international cricket in October 2000. His last domestic game was in November 2004. However, it was in 2009 that he called it a day from international cricket. Then, two years later, in 2011, he announced his retirement domestic cricket.
He also featured in a couple of movies of bollywood. In 2002, he was a part of the Suneil Shetty starer Anarth. Then in 2009, he featured alongside Ajay Jadeja in the movie Pal Pal Dil Ke Saath.
In 2009, Kambli stood for the Maharashtra Assembly Elections. He was representing the Lok Bharati Party from the Vikhroli constituency in Mumbai. However, he lost the elections by a huge margin.
In 2009, he appeared on the show Sach Ka Saamna, where he replied in the affirmative when asked if Tendulkar could have helped him more when it was most needed. Then, in 2011, he broke down during a television show and claimed that he had his suspicions about India’s loss in the semi-final against Sri Lanka in the 1996 World Cup.
Kambli is married to Andrea, and he converted to Christianity a few years ago. His son is named Jesus Christiano Kambli. Andrea is his second wife.