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RCB’s ace spinner attributes team’s defeat to their poor batting display
By Akshay Manwani
Hyderabad 20 May 2012
The Royal Challengers Bangalore are distraught at the moment. Needing a win in their final league outing against the Deccan Chargers to qualify for the playoffs, RCB would have fancied their chances when they restricted the hosts to a mere 132 runs at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium. Their hopes of making it to the next stage would have soared even more after Chris Gaylewalloped Manpreet Gonyfor three fours and two sixes in the second over to get RCB off to a flier two overs in to their run-chase.
Yet, in a cruel twist of events, the RCB batting imploded. The visitors were kept down to 123 by the DC bowlers with Dale Steyn bowling a phenomenal four overs for just eight runs while taking three wickets. The defeat brought an end to RCB’s run in IPL 2012 and gave the Chennai Super Kings the opportunity to qualify ahead of the Bengaluru franchise on account of posting a better net run-rate.
iplt20.com caught up with ace spinner Muttiah Muralitharan for a quick chat to gauge the mood in the RCB camp following this defeat.
You must be a very disappointed team right now?
Yes, very disappointed because we should have easily won. 130 [odd] is a chaseable total. Was Virat Kohli’s wicket the turning point in the match?
We can’t say that. Any wicket [could have been the turning point], because we didn’t bat well. Most experts are calling this the best IPL ever. Do you agree?
Yes. IPL has always been exciting because some teams win and some teams lose. This time, it was a little tougher for every team. You had a good IPL with the ball. How do you feel about that?
Yes. I bowled well, but at the end of the day, it’s all about how the team performs. Adam Gilchrist said yesterday that he has finished playing in the IPL. His decision is a big loss for his team and the fans. Yes, because he is a great player and the fact that he will not play means that they [Kings XI Punjab] will miss him.
During the Opening Nite of IPL 2012, the BCCI president N Srinivasan announced that the proceeds earned from the playoffs will be used to give a one-time cash benefit to India’s former cricketers. The list consists of over 160 names, including those who have represented the country and even those who have played first-class cricket.
Many of these cricketers have left the game altogether. Some have taken up a different career path successfully, while others are struggling to get a life outside cricket. Then, there are those who have earned enough money during their playing days to support their families, while many are not financially sound.
However, there is one thing in common for most former players – they are not directly connected with the IPL, the tournament that is responsible for churning out the funds that will benefit them.
We spoke to two men who feature on this list for their fine service to Indian cricket. Sanjay Manjrekar and Navjot Singh Sidhu have seen both ends of the spectrum. After retiring from a long and successful Test cricket, they have remained in the game in the capacity of commentators and are now, a part of the expert panel for the official IPL broadcaster.
This is what the two former India cricketers had to say about BCCI’s gesture of acknowledging the men who served the sport in the nation selflessly and passionately. The two men also shed light on how the IPL has changed the life of India’s first-class cricketers and is now set to benefit the former players as well.
First of all, I’d like to say thank you to the BCCI. I say thanks because this comes as an unexpected bonus. Once I quit the game, I had no expectations from people. I played the game because I liked it and I never had this feeling that the BCCI owes me anything. I have always felt that I have got more in return for what I put in as a cricketer.
A life-support system
The BCCI will earn a lot of goodwill with this gesture. It is an amazing thing to have happened to some of the former players. I have seen the effect it had on my mother, the wife of Late Vijay Manjrekar. She gets a pension from BCCI as a widow of a former cricketer and I’ve seen a lot of difference it made to her life. At that age, it gives great strength to know that you are financially independent. So, I can imagine how much strength it would give to all those players who are in their 70s or 80s and not in great financial health. It’s different for people like us who got something going for us even after the retiring from the game. But there are a lot of cricketers whose major skills was always playing cricket, which ends in the prime of their life. And they didn’t have too many other skills to carve out a good living for themselves after leaving the game. This is a real bonus for them IPL plays Robin Hood
IPL, like everything in life, is not perfect; it has its weaknesses. But what I have always liked about the tournament is that a first-class cricketer is earning money. I have seen how first-class cricketers work to play this sport, and in return, they always missed out on the big bucks that we international players got. I could see a first-class cricketer, after playing for 10 to 15 years, had to look for some kind of a livelihood to keep life going. IPL has changed that to a great extent. Navjot Singh SIdhu
A good name is worth all the riches in life. This decision will give the board credibility and a great name. There is no better exercise for the heart than bending down and lifting people, especially those cricketers who have given their life to the game and are in dying stage. For me, it’s an honour to be recognized after you’ve left playing cricket. It makes you feel like a family. It’s a token of love and affection, which is heartening. It’s like saluting those cricketers who have given their lives for the passion of the sport. Remembering the forgotten heroes
There are many former cricketers who really needed this money. Salim Durani is one of them. He is the one to watch whom I’d bunk school. This money would definitely help him. When you ask for something and it comes to you, it gives you satisfaction, but when it comes unexpectedly, it’s something else. IPL, a tree that bears fruits for everyone
The moment people criticize you, it tells you that you are very important. When you have three-four pages dedicated to the IPL in the leading newspapers, you know that it is a tree, which is giving you fruits. IPL is also bringing people back to cricket. India had lost to the Australia and England back-to-back, but it is the IPL that has got the crowd going again. Many players, who were unknown entities, have now become household names. It’s an industry, which helps everybody. IPL is a part of your life and you’ve got to accept it. It is benefiting everybody. The IPL is like an FBR, which you will keep on encashing with compound interest.