Newsfile: May 19
‘I’ve never been mobbed before’: Kings XI Punjab fast bowler, Parvinder Awana, has been one of the leading performers in IPL 2012 among uncapped Indian players, bowling quick and taking 17 wickets. His success has not gone unnoticed. “I stepped out of the car [in McLeodganj, after the win against Chennai Super Kings] and was immediately surrounded by people. They told me I was bowling great and they loved watching me in action,” Awana said. “I’ve never been mobbed before. I promised to keep bowling quick.” He said he was a last minute signing for Kings XI this season after being spotted by former India batsman Vikram Rathore, who is the coach of Punjab’s Ranji Trophy side. “I had just 48 hours to go for signing up. Every year, teams would call me for nets without taking me, but this year even that didn’t look like happening. Initially I thought it was joke but the contract letter was in my email. I decided quickly, for I wanted to prove myself. And now, I want the purple cap.”
Ganguly insists he isn’t finished yet: Sourav Ganguly, the Pune Warriors captain, has said his team’s final league match, against Kolkata Knight Riders, will not be his farewell IPL game. The team owner, Subroto Roy, said earlier this month that Ganguly would be stepping down as captain and player and instead be taking on a mentoring role from next season. Ganguly, it appears, hasn’t been on the same page as his team owner. “I don’t know what Mr Roy has said, what he has been quoted as saying and whether they had shown the full interview or just part of it,” Ganguly told Mid-Day. “Don’t forget, the IPL contract is for three years.” Since Roy made those comments, Ganguly sat out the next game but returned to lead the side for their most recent match against Rajasthan Royals.
Royals have the best team spirit – Botha: Rajasthan Royals may have been eliminated from the tournament after their loss to Deccan Chargers, but the offspinner Johan Botha said there were many positives from their campaign, one of which was building a healthy team spirit. “I still think that we’ve got the best team spirit in the tournament and that’s what takes us through tight games,” Botha told IPLT20.com. “Our opening partnerships have been brilliant. Rahul and Jinks (Ajinkya Rahane) have given us great starts all the way through. Our bowling unit – we still haven’t lost a game when we got more than 160. That’s credit to the guys.”
Not thought about next season – Dravid Rajasthan Royals were eliminated from IPL 2012 after losing to Deccan Chargers on Friday and Rahul Dravid, the Royals captain, said he had not thought about 2013 yet. “I have not given a thought about my plans on the next edition of IPL,” he said. “Still a long way to go … I think overall we surprised quite a lot of people with our performance this season. There have been many positives for our team. Maybe, after the last game once I go back home and then experience what it means to be a retired cricketer, then realise that I have no job to do.”
Sunil Narine ‘should be playing Test cricket’: Rahul Dravid, the Rajasthan Royals captain, has said he would love to have seen Sunil Narine bowl at Lord’s, where West Indies and playing England at the moment. “It has been a terrific pleasure to play and watch him bowl in the IPL,” Dravid said. “Bowlers of that quality and class should be playing Test cricket.” Dravid also said there had been “some exceptional Indian talent” on view in IPL 2012. “To name a few [Ajinkya] Rahane was outstanding. Shikhar Dhawan batted beautifully. [Parvinder] Awana is showing a lot of promise. Mandeep Singh is another young and solid player. Of course, I am not surprised by [Ambati] Rayudu's batting for he has been around the scene for quite some time.”
A good learning experience – Lynn: Chris Lynn, the Queensland batsman, has said he was “really nervous” before his IPL debut for Deccan Chargers. Lynn had watched his franchise finish at the bottom of the table while on the bench. Though he only scored 6, Lynn was happy his struggling team managed to beat Rajasthan Royals comprehensively. “I’ve been learning every day. It’s not just about cricket. It’s off the field as well – how professional they are,” Lynn told IPLT20.com. “It’s been a great opportunity for me to learn from them, and hopefully, I can come out a better cricketer and a better person.”