Fielding was MIG Cricket Club's X-factor: Amit Dani

Dec 31, 2013, 12:26 IST | A Correspondent

The caller-tune of MIG Cricket Club skipper Amit Dani’s mobile phone is an instrumental version of the title track of Lakshya, a film about achieving a target

The caller-tune of MIG Cricket Club skipper Amit Dani’s mobile phone is an instrumental version of the title track of Lakshya, a film about achieving a target. 

Dani’s team can finally rejoice after they achieved their ‘target’ of winning the Dr HD Kanga Cricket League again after a five-year drought. 

We are the champions: Skipper Amit Dani (encircled), along with MIG players, celebrates winning the Dr HD Kanga Cricket League ‘A’ Division at their ground in Bandra (East) on Sunday

MIG CC beat Greater Police Sports Club to top the ‘A’ Division with 28 points while Payyade Sports Club, who drew their match against Fort Vijay CC, ended up with 25 points on Sunday.

Dani, a former Mumbai and Goa Ranji Trophy all-rounder, felt their fielding was the X-factor that helped them clinch the title. “To have a good fielding unit is always an added advantage in any format.

We were fortunate to have some really good fielders in the team that helped us in winning the championship,” Dani, who is the fielding coach at Mumbai Cricket Association’s indoor academy at Bandra Kurla Complex, told MiD DAY.

“Being a fielding coach myself, I never allowed anyone to relax while fielding. Because of the new format, every team was at par in the batting and bowling departments. Fielding gave us an edge over other teams. So, the teams would think twice before snatching easy singles or hitting in the air,” he added.

For MIG, who were staring at relegation in 2012, it was a magnificent turnaround. “We had the self-belief from the first game this time,” said Dani. “Earlier, we lacked confidence. We would often fumble in the knockouts. But this time we believed in ourselves. We were positive from the beginning. We planned well for every game and tried to implement most of what was discussed with our coach Jayprakash Jadhav (former Mumbai Ranji batsman). Fortunately, everything fell in place. We were hungry for success.”

Dani again stressed on the self-belief factor. “We were neck-to-neck with Payyade SC (on the points table). In the first three games we were on top, then Payyade overtook us. We had a good chance of reclaiming the top spot against Karnataka Sporting Association. If we had taken the chance, we would have a one-point advantage over Payyade. But if we had lost that match, we would be two more points below them and that would have probably put us out of reckoning. We decided to play it safe for which we were heavily criticised. But we were confident that we could pull it in the end,” Dani signed off.

Meanwhile, former ‘A’ Division champions Dadar Union SC and Sunder CC were relegated from ‘B’ and ‘C’ Divisions respectively.

And the winners are...
>> A Division: MIG Cricket Club (28 points)
>> B Division: Parsee Gymkhana (29 points)
>> C Division: John Bright Cricket Club (29 points)
>> D Division: Rajasthan Sports Club (28 points)
>> E Division: Ghatkopar Jolly Gymkhana (25 points)
>> F Division: Lord North Brook Cricket Club (25 points)
>> G Division: United Cricket Club (28 points)

Cheer for Parsee Gym & Rajasthan

Parsee Gymkhana’s meticulous approach finally bore fruit as they emerged winners of the ‘B’ division of the Dr HD Kanga Cricket League after 44 years on Sunday.

Thanks to Raunaq Sharma’s unbeaten 208, the Marine Drive club won outright against Apollo Cricket Club to finish with 29 points, pipping New Hind Sporting Club by just one point.

The gymkhana’s cricket secretary Khodadad Yazdegardi ensured that all facilities were at the disposal of their players. Omkar Salvi, elder brother of Mumbai Ranji Trophy pacer Aavishkar Salvi who also plays for the gymkhana, was their full-time coach. Dr Mariyam Payek was the team’s physio while veteran sports journalist Makarand Waingankar mentored the team. “It was a concentrated effort. The role to every player was made clear from the beginning. So, that helped in achieving the goal. The planning was thorough and we wanted to ensure that no stone was left unturned in our effort to win the championship. We also arranged for a pep talk session before the season began. This time we invited Paras Mhambrey,” said Yazdegardi.

Meanwhile, Rajasthan SC are on a roll after emerging winners for the second consecutive year. Led by 51-year-old Noah Ashtamkar, Rajasthan SC topped the standings with 28 points in the ‘D’ Division. Last season they had topped the ‘E’ Division. “We won eight games and drew four this season,” said Avinash Kadam, who managed the team.

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