Calcutta: Sunil Gavaskar was entrusted with the responsibility of the IPL matters of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) by the Supreme Court in turbulent times for Indian cricket. The former captain’s appointment was seen by many as an effort to restore the image of the game.
On Sunday, which saw the final of IPL VII being played between the Kolkata Knight Riders and the Kings XI Punjab in Bangalore, Gavaskar thanked the players and the fans for their support in restoring the “faith of the common man” in the game.
“As the president of the BCCI-IPL matters, I can’t thank the fans and the players enough for what they have done to restore the faith of the common man in the game,” Gavaskar said during the innings break.
According to him, it was a win-win situation for the players and the fans as both the parties have done their bit for the game and enjoyed their roles.
“It was a win-win situation for both the players and the fans. We have seen some huge totals put up, we have seen some great bowling and we have seen some spectacular fielding as well.
“The fans have responded really well. They have come in big numbers, even though the final is being played at a neutral venue, and they have cheered for each and every run… Not just the boundaries and sixes,” Gavaskar said.
Having witnessed some terrific batting from Kings XI, Gavaskar lavished praise on Wriddhiman Saha and Mana Vohra. It’s another story that the Knights themselves batted excellently to win IPL VII.
“KXIP made a terrific recovery… They were 30 for two at one stage… Vohra played his part really well. He didn’t play the first half of the tournament. And Saha… What an innings! He has been consistent throughout the tournament. Scoring a century in the final is just amazing. Remember, in a T20 match, scoring 60 is a lot… But scoring a century and remaining not out in the final is just awesome,” Gavaskar said.
With Saha and Vohra dealing in sixes and fours, Gavaskar admitted that he didn’t expect Knights’ Sunil Narine to go for so many runs.
“Didn’t expect the kind of treatment Narine received today… Perhaps, it was not the kind of pitch where he would get some assistance. However, after the first over, in which he got a wicket also, we couldn’t imagine what was to come later,” he said.
Summing up this year’s IPL, Gavaskar said that it has been a tournament of the youngsters. The legendary batsman expressed satisfaction with the quality of competition in IPL VII.
“Youngsters have really played well this year… Some of the overseas players have played well, but at times the young Indian players have overshadowed them. This shows the amount of competition that there is in this tournament and how youngsters have made a case for themselves at this platform.
“That really gives the selectors the problem of plenty. That is one headache the selectors would happily like to have, and not the otherwise. Moreover, it also tells a lot about how the franchises, who have done well, have smartly spent at the auction table,” Gavaskar said.