Vidarbha cricket team donate Rs 25 lakh prize money to families of martyred CRPF jawans

Updated: Feb 17, 2019, 12:30 IST | Harit N Joshi | Mumbai

In a touching gesture, Vidarbha donate Rs 25 lakh Irani Cup prize money to families of 40 CRPF jawans, who lost their lives in J&K terror attack

Vidarbha players celebrate winning the Irani Cup tie at the VCA Stadium, Nagpur on Saturday. Pic/PTI
Vidarbha players celebrate winning the Irani Cup tie at the VCA Stadium, Nagpur on Saturday. Pic/PTI

In the wake of the terror attack in Jammu & Kashmir's Pulwama district, the Vidarbha cricket team have decided to donate their Irani Cup prize money to the families of the 40 CRPF jawans who lost their lives. The Vidarbha team earned Rs 25 lakh after defending their Irani Cup title — beating the Ajinkya Rahane-led Rest of India on the basis of first innings lead — at the VCA Stadium in Jamtha, near Nagpur on Saturday.

"Yes, the entire team (players and support staff) have decided to donate their prize money to the families of the martyrs. It was captain Faiz Fazal's idea and he asked me at the tea break [on Saturday] whether we should do this [donate the prize money]. It is wonderful gesture and I am glad every player accepted it.

'Small contribution'
"This amount may appear a very small contribution, but it is the thought which is important. The association [Vidarbha Cricket Association] will ensure the money reaches the families of our jawans," Vidarbha coach Chandrakant Pandit told mid-day. For the second successive season, Vidarbha managed to win both — Ranji Trophy and Irani Cup.

Chandrakant Pandit
Chandrakant Pandit

"This victory showed the depth of players Vidarbha posses. Without our two senior players, Wasim Jaffer [injured] and India pacer Umesh Yadav, we still managed to fight back and win the game. It showed that this team is not dependent on senior players. Vidarbha is like the second Indian team as it has managed to beat a team that have India players and those knocking on the national door. There is immense satisfaction in beating the Rest of India team," a delighted Pandit said.

Vidarbha had just a week's time after their Ranji triumph against Saurashtra to prepare for the Irani Cup. "I told the boys that it is very rare to get an opportunity to win two titles in a week's time. Why should we leave it when we can put in an extra effort and try to win it," said the former India stumper.

Vidarbha posted 425 in reply to Rest of India's 330 in the first innings. RoI put up a solid show in their second dig with Hanuma Vihari smashing his second century (180 not out) of the match as they declared at 374 for three. Chasing 280, Vidarbha decided to shake hands with the opponents just 11 runs shy off the target and five wickets in hand.Amitabh Bachchan to give Rs 5 lakh to each slain CRPF trooper's family

Playing it safe in climax
"I remembered that Madhya Pradesh had lost a final despite having seven wickets in hand and 10 overs to bat. We didn't want to take any chance as the title was anyway in our hands after the first innings lead. That's why we decided to draw the game," Pandit explained.

Vidarbha's success rate has made Pandit's stocks rise rapidly. The coach, though, remained modest about his achievements. "It's the players who make the coach successful. Planning, guiding are all part of the coach's responsibility, but to implement them is players' job," Pandit signed off.

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