The now defunct Deccan Chargers were one of the first franchises to get their hands on the IPL trophy. But their run to summit came at a tough ask. In the inaugural edition Deccan Chargers looked a strong side and well in contention to lift the trophy but dramatically after all-rounder Andrew Symonds had to leave for Australia and VVS Laxman shouldered an injury the franchise finished in the last spot.
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Deccan Chargers subsequently lost the ‘Jaypee Group’ as their sponsors with their kit forced to change its hue. It was a demotivating sight for the players who had given it their all but failed to produce the desired result. But Australia great Adam Gilchrist took the command in his own hands and motivated his side to a spirited IPL 2009 triumph after a debacle in the previous season.
Adam Gilchrist came to us and told us these things don’t matter: Pragyan Ojha
Pragyan Ojha was a key member of the 2009 IPL winning side for Deccan Chargers. He recalled how Adam Gilchrist boosted the team morale when they had limited amount of clothes and training kit. Gilchrist told his players that these things do not matter and once they win it will be a different evening.
“After finishing last in 2008, we didn’t have sponsors. Because of late sponsors, you know, when we reached South Africa, we had limited amount of clothes…training kits. That’s when Gilly came and told us that all these things don’t matter, what matters is once you win the championship, see how things will change. And I’m telling you, once we won, it was totally a different thing,” Pragyan Ojha told Cricbuzz.
“Deccan Chargers were suddenly a different brand. Everybody started looking at us in a different way. You’re playing in alien conditions, nobody had a home advantage… nobody expected us to win after how we performed in the first [season]. We were a different team in the second edition,” he added.
A night before the 2009 IPL final Gilchrist also had his bet on Ojha to come out good in the match and though the spinner was not the performer in the summit clash, he delivered to his best possible capability.