Warne couldn't have planned it better
Rajasthan Royals skipper Shane Warne was ecstatic after clinching the inaugural Indian Premier League (IPL) title in a nail-biting finish against Chennai Super Kings.
He said the script in the final could not have been any better. Chasing 164, Rajasthan Royals needed eight off the last over and Warne along with Sohail Tanvir held the nerves to pip the Super Kings.
Royals were initially written off as the weakest franchise team of the championship, but by the end of the Twenty20 tournament they were the best side brilliantly captained by the world’s highest wicket-taker.
Warne had all praise for the event as conceptualised by the organisers.
“It has been a fantastic journey and a wonderful experience. It has been great seven weeks for the whole squad. We had great time and we all got gelled together right from the start. I am really proud of the youngsters the way the executed their game.”
Warne was pleased with the way the crowds supported the event. “Crowds had been amazing. I think the memory I will take back is the passion on the faces of the people.”
He made it a point to name Yusuf Pathan, Swapnil Asnodkar and Ravinder Jadeja and said they had performed exceedingly well.
The purple cap went to Tanvir for his 22 wickets, the highest in the championship. He was mighty pleased with his effort.
“I really enjoyed playing in the tournament and bowled really well, though not in the final. This stint will help me in the future.”
Asked what was going in his mind when came out to bat at a critical stage of the game, Tanvir said he remembered the Twenty20 World Championship final he played for Pakistan against India in South Africa last September when he and Misbah-ul-Haq added 50 runs in the last four overs to bring their side to a near victory.
“When we could do that then, why not 18 runs in two overs,” he said.
Tanvir paid a handsome compliment to his skipper saying Warne captained the side remarkably well.
Man-of-the match Pathan was overtaken by emotion and mumbled that he enjoyed the way he performed in the entire championship and in the final in particular.
“I just tried to restrict the batsmen when I was given the ball and I was able to put the pressure on them. I was a little jittery before I went out to bat, but chatting with my teammates and officials before going in and then with Shane Watson in the middle soothed my nerves.”
Man-of-the-series Watson also congratulated IPL commissioner Lalit Modi for coming with a concept that gave a great opportunity to young players.
“It was an amazing experience and it’s nice to be part of a winning team. Great crowds made the event a great one.”