Happy to see Ganguly caring about First Class cricketers: Pandit
NAGPUR: One could see Vidarbha players getting goosebumps after watching the video clip of their Ranji Trophy triumph during the 42nd National Convention of Sports Journalists' Federation of India (SJFI) at Nagpur on Monday.
A year earlier, Vidarbha would have shown some emotion. Not now. They know what it feels to win the Ranji Trophy. After all, this wasn't their first. They have four titles- two Ranji and two Irani- in the last two years.
Skipper Faiz Fazal and head coach Chandrakant Pandit felt proud when the champion bunch was felicitated at a city hotel.
The former India wicketkeeper felt this honor will motivate Vidarbha boys to do well in the coming season. "As a coach, you need to keep players' motivation level high. I feel this award has done half of my job," Pandit said.
The 56-year-old acknowledged the role of media in encouraging players and building their image. He expressed happiness over Sourav Ganguly's election as BCCI President. "It was encouraging to see Ganguly discuss about looking after First Class players well and providing more money," Pandit said.
Pandit had some suggestions for Ganguly as well, "If India has 30 contracted players, they can have players from every state to have a pool of 30-35 players as bench strength. It would motivate domestic players to do well and be part of that second group. Eventually, it will increase competition, which always helps."
While thanking SJFI and Sports Journalists' Association of Nagpur (SJAN) for honouring Vidarbha, Faiz said, "Just keep supporting us. I feel journalists are our extended family."
Former Mumbai cricketer and Rajasthan Royals batting coach Amol Muzumdar said cricket has become popular in the country because of media. He also wished the Vidarbha team and hoped that Vidarbha would score a hat-trick of title wins.
Rajasthan Royals team manager Romi Bhinder was happy to see ex-Royals player Faiz achieving the rare feat in the last two years. "When we had three Vidarbha players in Royals, Shane Warne said, 'Does all the talent come from Vidarbha?' I can proudly tell him now the kind of talent Vidarbha region has and what they have achieved in the last two years," Bhinder said.
President of Bapuna Group Shiraz Gimi recalled the early days of the Vidarbha skipper. "I first saw Faiz at the nets when he was just 8. You could see that this boy would go the distance. He should have gone much farther. There are many factors that play important roles in player's life. He was unlucky to miss out on India U-19 World Cup due to injury," he said.