Having clinched the inaugural ACC Emerging Cup title,it’s only natural for Suryakumar Yadav and his team to have expected a memorable if not grand welcome on their return to the city. That too considering that they had defeated arch-rivals Pakistan in the final.
There has obviously been quite a precedent for such brouhaha to celebrate the feats of Indian teams in global competitions.
Yadav and the few U-23 team members though were in for a not-so-pleasant surprise as they embarked from the international airport on Monday evening. For starters,there were only a handful of journalists awaiting them,and hardly anyone else seemed too bothered by their arrival.
Moreoever,there was not a single BCCI official on view to welcome back the champions. Some might say that the Emerging Cup is unlikely to demand much of a mention in the board’s opulent trophy cabinet. And Yadav & Co would be only more gutted after the BCCI informed them that they won’t be offering any cash prize for the U-23 team’s title win.
There was more to fret about the young team. With a number of outstation players left stranded with the board not having made any hotel bookings for them.
Not until team manager Vinod Deshpande made last minute calls requesting the BCCI to make necessary arrangements. Ashok Menaria (Rajasthan) and Sandeep Sharma (Punjab) had to stay put at the airport before being escorted to a nearby hotel.
Despite the slight discrepancies on their return,skipper Yadav insisted that the trip proved to be great exposure for him and his team. The Indians were among the favourites for the title anyway but there was more to gain in Singapore apart from the trophy itself.
We didn’t try anything different,we had plans in place. We knew the wicket will be slow and if any one of us can stay long and build partnerships then the team has chance to post a decent total. It was good expereince for me and I’m happy to come back home with a trophy, Yadav said.
The only time India U-23 got reality check was when Afghanistan defeated them.
Losing to Afghanistan was a good wake-up call for us. We pulled up our socks and never took any team lightly. It was a perfect team effort and we had boys who had enough first-class expereince. I think overall it was a good concept to have an under-23 Emerging Cup as it give good exposure to all the boys. For me it was great experience, Yadav added.