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Former players laud board’s decision to honour them
By Akshay Manwani
Bengaluru 24 May 2012
The Board of Control for Cricket in India continued felicitating former cricketers at the second DLF IPL 2012 playoff game in Bengaluru. After the first round of presentations was made at the first qualifier between the Delhi Daredevils and the Kolkata Knight Riders, the board handed out cheques to another round of cricketers, before the eliminator between the Mumbai Indians and the Chennai Super Kings.
With the spectators at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium cheering cricketing greats from yesteryear, the BCCI honoured Venkatesh Prasad, Roger Binny, Yashpal Sharma, Erapalli Prasanna, Rajesh Chauhan and Arun Lal among others in the second round of presentations. A few of the cricketers spoke to BCCI.tv/IPLT20.com following the felicitation:
It’s the first time cricketers’ services have been recognised by the BCCI. We are especially thankful to the President [Mr. N Srinivasan] and the entire BCCI for honouring the cricketers on the field. It’s a special honour for all the cricketers.
It was very good to hear the news. Everybody [former cricketers] whom I had interacted with was pleased that the BCCI was doing this gesture towards the ex-cricketers. It was a really nice feeling when we heard about this. Venkatesh Prasad:
It’s one of the best things that has happened to a lot of the cricketers. I’m sure it’s not just me, but every single beneficiary would thank the BCCI and Mr. [N] Srinivasan, in particular. It’s a great initiative and it just shows the magnanimity of the person, Mr. Srinivasan, and also the members of the BCCI as well. The payers who have benefited from this scheme deserve it for the simple reason that they’ve contributed so much for the growth of cricket in India. That’s one of the reasons why such a thing has happened – a concept like T20 and also the way it has picked up. It’s only because of the seed that has been sown over the last 30-40 years or so.
The players who played in the ’60s or the ’70s, it has benefitted them hugely. There is no doubt about that. I think the BCCI has been magnanimous enough to say that the cut off is till 2004 because from there onwards a lot of money came into cricket – not just in international cricket, but in domestic cricket as well.
It’s a fantastic gesture by the BCCI. Cricketers have sacrificed so much in their lives; and to be rewarded like this is amazing for the cricketers. All of us appreciate what the BCCI has done for us after toiling for so many years on the cricket field.
All the cricketers share the same sentiments. They are all very happy that the BCCI recognized their services and [decided to] honour them in such a big way.
MI’s IPL 2012 top-scorer says they can’t afford bowling lapses
By Akshay Manwani
Bengaluru 23 May 2012
The leading run-getter for Mumbai Indians in IPL 2012,Rohit Sharma will be hoping to come good in the final few games and helping the franchise win their maiden IPL title. MI clash against Chennai Super Kings in the Eliminator to be played between the two sides at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on May 23. In an exclusive chat with iplt20.com on the eve of the big clash, Rohit spoke about MI’s run in the tournament, CSK’s strengths and his own good form.
20 points from 10 games – there’s actually very little separating you from the Delhi Daredevils and Kolkata Knight Riders, but you’ve made it to the Eliminator.
We needed to win a couple more games [to be on the top]. It has been a very even competition so far. All four teams have played consistent cricket otherwise they would not have made it to the top four. I am not taking credit away from any of the four teams. We played better cricket and that is why we are here.
We started well; the first half [of the tournament] was very good, but suddenly we lost a couple of matches and there was pressure to win the next two games. It was a very evenly poised competition for us. Of course, if we were in the top two it would have given us an extra opportunity to be in the final. But at the end of the day you have to play good cricket to reach the final and lift the trophy. Last week has been really good for us in all three departments. We just have to take that confidence into tomorrow’s game. In the press conference, too, I said that we have got enough potential in the dressing room to be through to the final and if we manage [to take that to the field] tomorrow, it will be good for us.
If CSK’s all-rounders don’t do well the team does not fire. Is that a fair assessment?
I don’t think so. Every team has got their own strengths and weaknesses. I don’t know what has worked for them and what has not, but for us, we have done well in all three departments. We have done well to restrict teams, we have done well to score runs in the last overs and we have taken some brilliant catches. As far as CSK are concerned, their batting has clicked sometimes and their bowlers have done well. They have chased 208  against RCB, which shows they have got depth in their batting. I feel batting is their main strength so we can’t make mistakes in our bowling. We have to put pressure on them by converting half chances. We have seen MI try out several opening combinations in the batting department right through this competition. But given that you cruised to a 10-wicket win in the last game with Dwayne Smith opening the batting with Sachin Tendulkar, can we expect that you will now stick to this combination?
I cannot [confirm] who [the opening batsmen] are going to be for the next few games. Whatever is in the team’s interest and whatever the management feels is good for the team will happen. Whoever has got an opportunity to open has performed. It is a good problem to have. Let’s see what the management and captain decide tomorrow.
You have been the highest run-getter for MI this season. Is there any extra pressure on you in these last few games?
I have to maintain my form. It is very important for me and for the team as well. I have always taken pride in my performance whatever the team. There will be no difference in my approach tomorrow either. I will look to score runs and play with an aggressive mindset. I don’t want to forget that it’s a very cruel game and anything can happen. I just want to be focussed. I have always cherished batting in the middle order, even when I play for India. I just want to continue my form, which will help the team and me.
You also get an opportunity to defend your Champions League Twenty20 title having made it to the IPL Playoffs. Your thoughts?
It’s good news. It’s another opportunity to go out and play for Mumbai Indians. We are the defending champions so we will take pride in defending the title this year. It’s not an easy tournament as all the best teams from across the world come and play [it]. But as I said, we will take pride in defending our title.