Fazal: ‘From day one, I thought we could win it’

Vidarbha skipper Faiz Fazal also credits coach Chandrakant Pandit and senior player Wasim Jaffer for the Ranji Trophy victory.

Having guided the team to it’s first-ever Ranji Trophy title, Fazal admitted that team work paid off.   -  R.V. MOORTHY

 

This is one dream Faiz Fazal has been chasing for long — to win the Ranji Trophy as a captain. Finally on Monday, the Vidarbha skipper was a relieved man. Having guided the team to it’s first-ever Ranji Trophy title, Fazal admitted that team work paid off. The stylish batsman got so emotional that he event went on saying that winning the Ranji Trophy is more special than representing India — something he did in the tour to Zimbabwe in 2016. Excerpts...

Question: How does it feel to win the Ranji Trophy for the first time?

Answer: This feeling can’t be described. As a cricketer, we have always dream of winning Ranji Trophy. It is the biggest thing in our career. It happened today, and I am happy. For now, we are on seventh heaven. But again, we have to be down to earth and start our work tomorrow.

Your coach, Chandrakant Pandit, is a tough taskmaster. I am sure there have been times when players felt that this man makes us work a lot. But now, as you hold the trophy, do those thoughts keep coming in?

If you want to achieve something, you will have to work hard. You will have to go through all the process — be it discipline or other things. Chandu sir is a tough task master, he is a tough cookie to crumble, but yes, we are happy. After working hard for that many hours and that many months, we can see the result now.

When you shifted to Vidarbha from Railways in 2012-2013, you had said that your target is to win the Ranji Trophy...

Winning the Ranji Trophy would have been the biggest achievement of my career. I know playing for India was a big high for me because as an individual, you want to achieve that. I have always been a team-man. Winning the trophy for the team has been a big thing.

Does captaincy come naturally to you? Your team-mates say, you are a cool captain…

I let the side be free. This win has not been easy. Behind this, Chandu sir comes in, Jaffer bhai, Karn, Ganesh played a huge role as well. Otherwise, it would have not been possible.

When did you realise that you can win the title?

From day one, I thought we could win it. I was in England before the season, and when I came to Nagpur and met Chandu Sir, the first thing I wanted to know was how to win the trophy. Then the process started.

What was the turning point in your campaign?

The first game against Punjab was the turning point.

You must be happy now that the entire team will finally play the Irani Cup?

I wanted the whole team to participate in the Irani Cup. Working hard and then, only three playing the Irani Cup is not something that I wanted.