Australian Jeff Thomson, who spearheads the Mumbai Cricket Association-IDBI Federal Life Insurance Bowling Foundation, was thrilled at Mumbai’s 41st Ranji Trophy triumph.
For all the great triumphs he was involved in as an Australia player, Thomson was never part of a Sheffield Shield winning team. He played for New South Wales before shifting to Queensland, a team he also coached and shaped, for them to win their first ever Shield title under then new coach John Buchanan in 1994-95. Hence, the significance of Mumbai winning their 41st Ranji Trophy was viewed as nothing short of a heavyweight achievement by ‘Thommo’.
It is learnt that Thomson was being given regular updates on the Mumbai vs Saurashtra final which ended inside three days on Friday at Pune. He also followed it on the Internet.
In a WhatsApp group message, coach Thommo wrote to his wards on Friday: "You guys should be proud. We can show you what to do and tell you, but when you walk on that field, it is totally up to your attitude and application.
"You have all done that. I thank you from a coach’s view and I’m so happy for yourselves and every bowler throughout the season."
The July 2015-launched bowling scheme is aimed at making a big impact on Mumbai cricket’s pace bowling talent just like the BCA-Mafatlal Bowling Scheme did in the 1990s.
After Mumbai won the Ranji Trophy on Friday, IDBI Federal Life Insurance Company’s CEO Vighnesh Shahane, a former Mumbai fast bowler, announced a R1 lakh cash award to pacer Shardul Thakur, Rs 50,000 to Balwinder Sandhu and a special award of R1 lakh to batting star Shreyas Iyer for their outstanding performance in the final. Thomson was delighted to hear from Shahane earlier in the week that the final was being played on a green wicket and Thomson’s first reaction to that new was, "thank God."