January 1, 2018 10:24:39 pm
Vidarbha’s Ranji Trophy victory has been termed as a fairytale. First time they reached the final of the prestigious domestic tournament and won it. Before the start of the season, they were not the favourites. But they beat seven-time champions Delhi to lift the trophy. In an team effort, there were many heroes who proved to be match-winners for Vidarbha and captain of the side Faiz Fazal has termed the title win as his “biggest achievement”. He put this win ahead of his India debut against Zimbabwe. Vidharbha today won India’s premier domestic tournament with a convincing nine-wicket victory over Delhi, scripting a new chapter in the region’s cricketing history.
“Winning the Ranji Trophy would be the biggest achievement of my career. I know playing for India was a big high for me because as an individual, you get to achieve that. I have always been a team-man. Winning the trophy for the team has been a big thing. I have been leading Vidarbha since my age-group cricket days. And to lead a Ranji team is not an easy thing,” Fazal said.
Fazal toured Zimbabwe in 2016 and even scored a half-century. But his team won the Ranji title inside four days and will now play the Irani Cup against the Rest of India. The skipper praised every individual and how they performed for the team.
“The win is no less than a fairytale. This feeling can’t be described. As a cricketer, we have always dreamed of winning Ranji Trophy. It is the biggest thing in our career. It happened today, and I am happy. For now, we are on seventh heaven. But again, we have to be down to earth and start our work tomorrow.”
“From day one, I thought we can win it. I was in England before the season, and when I came to Nagpur and met Chandu Sir, the first thing I wanted to know was how to win the trophy. Then the process started. The first game against Punjab was the turning point. I wanted the whole team to participate in the Irani Cup.”
Fazal also talked about the behind the scenes stars in coach Chandrakant Pandit and veteran Wasim Jaffer. He thanked everyone in the side and especially the seniors who continued their support.
“I let the side be free. This win has not been easy. Behind this, Chandu sir comes in, Jaffer bhai, Karn (Sharma), Ganesh (Satish) played huge role. Otherwise it would have not been possible.”
Coach Pandit has been regarded as one of the finesh coaches in the Indian domestic circuit and on Monday he had another Ranji title in his CV. He praised his captain Fazal and said that he followed the routine to win the title.
“We have been following our routine and that’s the best part, we have done. All credit goes to the players as they have put in the hard work. I am very happy with the way they have respected me, and the players have never ignored the system we have followed. That is one of the major things. The team is together, they have started enjoying the sessions. We stayed together all the time and there were certain kinds of activities in the team.”
He also heaped praise on every member of the team saying that this is a title they deserve to celebrate because it has been a long wait for Vidarbha. He revealed how everyone in the Vidarbha Cricket Association also heled the team.
“They deserve to celebrate. They were waiting for this particular day. Each and every player, the captain must be excited to celebrate and they should. There is no restriction. The VCA chief has also told me that I should not restrict them from celebrating. They can do whatever they want.
“They have worked hard and Prashant (VCA vice-president Vaidya) has been a big support to us. I am thankful to both of them. The groundsmen at the VCA also played a great role because without them we cannot perform.
“The way they have been preparing the pitches, they have given us nets every time we asked. They also deserve to celebrate.”
One of the main reasons of Vidarbha winning the title was Rajneesh Gurbani, the bowler who took a hat-trick in the final. He became only the second bowler to achieve this feat.
“Changes were a lot to do with the mind. Right from the first game, we had in the back of our mind that we need to win the trophy, and we have finally done that on a special day. They (Pandit and bowling coach Subroto Banerjee) are the two main persons because of whom we have done so well. A big thank you to Chandrakant sir who has made technical changes in my bowling. Same with Subroto sir as well, when he is around, I have nothing to worry about.”
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