Mumbai, Feb 5 (UNI) Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) Vice-President Dilip Vengsarkar today singled out Zaheer Khan for praise after Mumbai defeated Bengal by 132 runs to regain the Ranji Trophy.
Speaking to reporters after the match, Vengsarkar, who is also the chairman of the national selection committee, said althrough the credit of this win goes all Mumbai players but it was Zaheer who came changed the tide of the match.Vengsarkar paid the highest compliment to Sourav Ganguly, whose gritty 90 kept Bengal in the hunt till the last moment. ''For a moment I thought he (Ganguly) would play an innings like I had played against Haryana in the 1991 final.'' The former India captain also praised the senior players of both the sides for the commitment they showed while playing domestic cricket. ''After a tough one-day series against West Indies and the Sri Lanka series also coming up soon, it showed a lot of commitment from the senior players like Sachin Tendulkar, Ajit Agarkar, Zaheer Khan and Sourav Ganguly to come out and play a Ranji Trophy final. It is extremely commendable and we got to see cricket of the highest quality,'' he added.
When asked about making the 'stars' play more often in domestic matches, Vengsarkar blamed the ICC tour programme. ''The ICC already has a four-year programme which leaves little room for the Indian players to play domestic matches. It is sad, but this is the way it is,'' he added.
Finally, Vengsarkar lauded curator Sudhir Naik for preparing a gem of a wicket for the final. ''The wicket had everything, there was bounce and turn for the bowlers and the batsmen also could play their shots, all in all it was one of the best wickets I have seen,'' he concluded.