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It's all about keeping the faith intact

Players are not the only ones who serve the game. There are a whole bunch of others who remain the unsung heroes. One such man is Sitaram Tambe. Shalabh Monacha reports.

cricket Updated: Oct 05, 2011 23:54 IST
Shalabh Monacha

Players are not the only ones who serve the game. There are a whole bunch of others who remain the unsung heroes. One such man is Sitaram Tambe.

He is only one of the two persons who for the last 40 years have carried all the trophies of the various tournaments conducted by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), wherever it is held in the country.

Few people know Tambe but he makes sure the trophies don't get damaged while being transported.

"I have been carrying trophies for all the cricket tournaments since 1972. It is just the trust that the board has on me that I will keep them safe," said Tambe, who was in Jaipur with the Irani Cup, the final being played between Rajasthan and the Rest of India.

When it comes to safety one might assume these trophies are transported by air or other safe modes, but Tambe, who only gets to travel sleeper class in train, gets the job done without fuss.

"I get them in a second class compartment as that is what I am entitled to travel by," said the man from Mumbai. Tambe also makes sure the prized possessions of Indian cricket are not damaged. "Most of the time I don't sleep during travel to make sure the trophies are safe."

Having carried the Ranji trophy, Deodhar trophy, Irani trophy, CK Nayadu trophy, NKP Salve Trophy and many more, Tambe takes pride in his work.

"Apart from those who win it, only I get to hold them which is an honour for me," said, Tambe who will retire next year.

At 59, he is content with life. But what he objects to is officials of various cricket associations wanting to pose with the trophies for a drawing room snap.

"I am happy with whatever the board pays me but don't want every second person to pose with these precious possessions of Indian cricket as that could damage it."

As for his relationship with the younger players, Tambe said most of them know him but he is mostly friends with the older cricketers.