Bangalore, Sept. 28 (PTI): Captain of the Twenty20 World Cup winning Indian team, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, said today he never dreamt of donning the India colours when he started playing.
“When I started playing cricket, I never dreamt of playing for India,” he said here. “Then it was captaincy before going to the World Cup and now, it’s winning the World Cup”.
He said determination of each member of the team was key to success. “They really wanted to win. We didn’t have any sort of pressure,” Dhoni added.
Earlier, Reebok brand ambassadors, who were part of the winning Indian team, were felicitated by the company.
For Harbhajan Singh, life has come a full circle.
Dumped from the team after the 2007 World Cup debacle in the West Indies, he fought his way back and played a stellar role in India’s triumphant Twenty20 World Cup campaign in South Africa.
The 27-year-old off-spinner, also dubbed the ‘Turbanator’, was at his magical best in the newest version of the game, not only claiming key wickets but also restricting the runs.
Now back in the team for the seven-match One-Day International series against Australia, which gets underway on Saturday in Bangalore, he hopes to keep delivering top-class performances.
The champion spinner spoke to Special Correspondent Harish Kotian in Bangalore on the memorable Twenty20 triumph.
In your last interview , you mentioned how eagerly you were looking forward to making a comeback and proving yourself. So, in that sense, how satisfying was it to turn in such a magnificent showing at the Twenty20 World Cup?
Well, I was just trying to stick to what I was doing in England, where I was bowling at my best. I had the hunger to prove myself again and that kept me going.
There was a lot of talk going that I am not good enough, that I am bowling too fast, that I am doing this and that. At the end of the day I knew that it was just a matter of time or, maybe, more than that for me to comeback [into the Indian team]. But I have to keep working on my game and keep coming hard whenever I play any kind of cricket.
Ravi Shastri, the former India captain, was today appointed chairman of the National Cricket Academy by the Indian board.
Shastri takes over from Ajay Shirke, who was made acting chairman of the Bangalore-based academy after Kapil Dev was sacked from the post for signing up with the Indian Cricket League. Kapil had refused to step down as chairman of the ICL’s executive board even after the BCCI refused permission for the league.
The BCCI’s general meeting held in Mumbai today came to a common consensus that Shastri should be made the chairman.
New Delhi, Sept 28: Unfazed by BCCI’s ambitious and cash-rich Twenty20 tournaments, the rebel Indian Cricket League (ICL) today announced the signing of 18 more players, including six overseas cricketers.
After lying low for several weeks, the ICL came out with its second list of players, which included four from New Zealand – Chris Cairns, Chris Harris, Nathan Astle and Hamish Marshal – and England’s Darren Maddy and Pakistan all-rounder Azhar Mahmood.
Kapil Dev, chairman of the executive board for the ICL said, “we are extremely pleased to welcome these players to the ICL family.”
“These talented experienced cricketers will definitely be a great source of learning for the youngsters who will play with them. Under their guidance, the Indian Cricket League players will develop skills comparable to the best of international cricketing talent,” he said while announcing the signings.
The ICL, a brainchild of the Subhash Chandra-owned Essel Group, has earlier signed over 60 cricketers with batting great Brian Lara and former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul Haq in its ranks. (Agencies)
September 28, 2007
Chris Cairns, Chris Harris, Nathan Astle, Hamish Marshall, Darren Maddy and Azhar Mahmood have become the latest international cricketers to sign with the Indian Cricket League. Of these six cricketers only Maddy is still actively playing cricket at the highest level, with the others having either retired or fallen out of favour with their respective selectors.
Marshall refused a contract from New Zealand Cricket recently as he wished to pursue a career playing county cricket in England, qualifying as a Kolpak player. Cairns, Harris and Astle have not been in the New Zealand team for some time now, while Mahmood has figured in just four matches for Pakistan since 2004.
Announcing their latest signings, Kapil Dev, the chairman of the executive board of the ICL, said, “We are extremely pleased to welcome these players to the ICL family. These talented experienced cricketers will definitely be a great source of learning for the youngsters who will play with them. Under their guidance, the Indian Cricket League players will develop skills comparable to the best of international cricketing talent.”
“These signings are in line with our objective of providing the best platform for young cricketers from all corners of India to play alongside the superstars of international cricket, learn the tricks of the trade from them and gain confidence to excel.”
The ICL also officially announced the signing of twelve Indian domestic cricketers. Although some of these names were already on the ICL radar and in the news, it was announced on Friday that Abu Nachem, Amit Uniyal, Aniruddh Singh, Gaurav Gupta, Love Ablish, Mihir Diwakar, Rakesh Patel, Abid Nabi, Kiran Powar, Pritam Das and former India internationals S Sriram and Nilesh Kulkarni, had signed on the dotted line.
The domestic players who have already signed with the ICL are currently participating in a training camp in Chennai at the Mayajaal ground on the outskirts of the city. It has been suggested that the ICL is targeting to play its first Twenty20 matches in mid-November although it is as yet unclear where these matches will be held.
Bangalore, Sept. 28 (PTI): Former captain Rahul Dravid today said India’s triumph in the Twenty20 cricket World Cup came at the right time to inspire the new generation to perform and excel.
“Without heroes, without performances, the next generation are not inspired to perform,” Dravid said at a felicitation function organised by Reebok for its ambassadors who were part of the winning Indian team.
The performance of Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s team, television coverage and scenes witnessed in Mumbai would inspire chirdren in India to perform.
“These are the images that we will carry forward in the next generation,” he said adding one or the other player stood up when India faced a critical situation at the Twenty20 World Cup, and the team played with energy and great intensity.
Dravid said his generation of cricketers grew up watching the images of 1983 ODI World Cup when captain Dhoni was just two years old.
“For cricketers of my generation — I was ten years old then — that was a huge inspiration. We grew up watching the images of Kapil Dev lifting the World Cup Trophy,” he said.
BANGALORE: Picture this. A family man who loves Rafi songs and “kadumbattu” with pork curry. And going on long drives. Roll the drums for the swashbuckling Robin Uthappa, still in the afterglow of the T20 World Cup victory.
Robin has been knocking around for a permanent place in Team India’s One Day International squad for some time now. He did seize his chances earlier too but found himself in and out until he decided to take centre stage and knock the stuffing out of the England attack in the sixth ODI at The Oval almost a month ago. And a couple of cameos in the Twenty20 World Cup later, he is here to stay.
“It’s an amazing feeling and yet to sink in really … And it was on seeing the huge crowds braving the rains and applauding us all along the route in Mumbai, that we (Team India) could fathom the enormity of our achievements — winning the ICC Twenty20 World Cup,” said a confident-looking Robin.
Father Venu Uthappa, an international hockey umpire, and mother Rosalyn, cannot stop talking about their son’s meteoric rise in the last few months. .
“Twelve ODI matches are lined up – seven against Australia and five versus Pakistan. Our confidence is high after the recent success… and we will continue to do well,” Robin signed off.