Vidarbha crowned Ranji Kings

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 02 Jan 2018 10:38:21



By Rahul Dixit,


Teams                           Titles                          First Title

Bombay/Mumbai              41                                1934-35
Karnataka/Mysore            8                                  1973-74
Delhi                               7                                  1978-79
Baroda                            5                                  1942-43
Holkar/MP                       4                                  1945-46
Bengal                            2                                  1938-39
Madras/TN                      2                                  1954-55
Hyderabad                      2                                  1937-38
Maharashtra                   2                                  1939-40
Railways                         2                                  2001-02
Rajasthan                       2                                  2010-11
Nawanagar                     1                                  1936-37
Western India                 1                                  1943-44
Haryana                         1                                  1990-91
Punjab                           1                                  1992-93
Uttar Pradesh                 1                                  2005-06
Gujarat                          1                                   2016-17
Vidarbha                        1                                  2017-18

—S Pervez Qaiser

EVEN before taking the field at Holkar Stadium in Indore, when Vidarbha captain Faiz Fazal was talking of the Irani Trophy many in the cricketing fraternity tried to pass it off as preposterousness. How he has shut up his critics! Faiz has managed which no other Vidarbha captain could in their six decades history. On Monday, the new year day, he lifted the Ranji Trophy, a dream of every cricketer playing in India. It was a red-letter day for Vidarbha, the new Ranji Kings.

Beating Delhi by nine wickets on the fourth day of the final Vidarbha proved how a reasonably unknown group with just one dream can upset the mighty. Fazal’s boys scripted history by remaining unbeaten throughout this season and walking away with the topmost prize in domestic cricket.
The triumph was a result of tremendous self-belief and burning desire to achieve a dream. Vidarbha found men for every occasion and their collective fire was further fuelled by Chandrakant Pandit, the coach who can work wonders with any group of cricketers.

The final showed why Vidarbha deserved to be the champions. They had a debutant in Aditya Thakare who stood up to the nerves. They had Rajneesh Gurbani, the sensation of the season, to wreck Delhi with a deadly spell. They had Wasim Jaffer, who stood like a rock to guide the youngsters. And they had the newcomers with tremendous confidence in Akshay Wadkar, Aditya Sarvate and Siddhesh Neral who defied pressure like an everyday job.

When all such things combine into a single dream, destiny, too, has to smile on the underdog. Vidarbha, the underdog, has just landed the biggest bite. This is the stuff dreams are made of.