It’s been seven years since I switched from playing first-class cricket for Madhya Pradesh, but my heart pounds when I watch the final. The only thought that kept running through my head at the start of the day was the memories of 1998-99 where we took the lead and controlled the final before a bad session cost us the game. I am so happy to see how calmly they approached it.
When I started for MP 17 years ago it was a dream to play in a Ranji final. We had talent, but winning as a group was still a dream. To see these guys lift the trophy is a gift to the entire cricket club in MP. It has the potential to open different avenues.
Coaches and talent scouts are now looking for MP talent even more. We have already seen so many names – Rajat Patidar, Venkatesh Iyer, Avesh Khan, Kumar Kartikeya. There could be many more. These guys have all been trendsetters for the younger players. So many young people in MP are now encouraged by seeing these guys perform on the big stage, and a platform like the IPL just magnifies your performances and gives a lift to the region.
We always knew MP had a strong team, but it was always a matter of controlling our nerves on the big stage. After this victory, that perception will undoubtedly change. This win has the power to change the direction of MP cricket for the better.
“Chandu’s only stipulation was that he needed a free hand when it came to cricket issues, and when that was achieved he was ready to move on. He knows which player to pressure, which player to love. ” After his arrival, we’ve seen a big transformation in the body language and attitude of the team as he built that kind of trust in them. There’s plenty of clarity about the role.
“The biggest change is how teams are selected. Earlier in MP, selection was a big headache. Things have gone differently. Since he is the coach, he sits in selection meetings and comes prepared. He clearly states what he wants.” Not a single deserving player missed in his time so far.
“Akshat Raghuwanshi, for example, wasn’t even on the Under-19 team last year. He single-handedly brought him on board; look how he reacted: three fifties and a century, a match-turning knock in the semi-finals When he a young player chooses, he supports him, gives him security.
“What also sets him apart is that he takes responsibility for failures. When something doesn’t work out, he takes responsibility and when some players do well, he gives them credit. Few people can do this. When his strategies or decisions fail, “He won’t play the blame game. He gives credit to the guys who do well. Players now know that if Chandu has chosen you, you will have his full support.”
“I followed every moment of the match. It’s a great feeling to see MP dominate and win the Ranji trophy. I can say with certainty that the best team has been chosen. Their methodical approach was excellent. The efforts of many years have finally paid off.”
“I was part of that 1998-99 final and can tell you how much heartbreak it was. That’s still fresh in my mind, but seeing these guys go one step further makes me feel really proud. This group has the potential to dominate for the next three to four years. It is largely a young team. Someone asked me if we have reached a purple spot. I said no, this is a purple match.”