They played school cricket together, scored a world record 664-run partnership for Shardashram Vidyamandir in 1988 and wore Team India colours with pride. They were the best of friends for years and even shared rooms on tours. Vinod Kambli says he hasn't met or spoken to Sachin Tendulkar for almost seven years now. A few text messages are all that they have shared. "We seem to have become enemies," the former Indian left-hander said in an interview.
An emotional Kambli is hurt that Tendulkar didn't invite him for the farewell dinner party in a Mumbai hotel on Monday (November 18). The talented left-hander, who played 17 Tests and scored 1084 runs including four centuries, feels Tendulkar should have mentioned him during his farewell speech at the Wankhede Stadium on November 16. The 41-year-old Kambli also played 104 ODIs for India, scoring 2477 runs. (Also read: Proud I played with Sachin, says Kumble)
"I wish he could have taken my name in his speech because I was expecting him to at least mention our world record partnership because it was from there that we started... it was a career-changing innings. I was definitely hurt," Kambli told NDTV on Thursday. (Related: Sachin's humility makes him special, says Gambhir)
Kambli, who knew Tendulkar since he was 10 years old, said: "We shared everything, we grew up together and we learnt from each other. There were frequent comparisons who were a better hitter of the ball, but we didn't care." (How Sachin is cooling off after retirement frenzy)
Kambli said he remembered his entire journey with Tendulkar. "When he made the speech all the things were coming in front of my eyes and even when he had tears in his eyes, I couldn't control mine. The way he has served the country, I salute him," Kambli said.
Kambli said Tendulkar stopped communicating with him after a TV reality show in 2009. In that show, Kambli had said that Tendulkar didn't help him enough to overcome his self-destructive tendencies. "After that, we never spoke. It has been very difficult for me since we were close friends. I don't know if there is any friendship left. We seem to have become enemies now," Kambli said.