Amit Asawa was a little-known man when Rajasthan started this year’s Ranji Trophy season but on Saturday he had his name firmly etched in history books as the coach of the 2010-11 Ranji champions.
The former Rajasthan batsman, who represented the state in 26 matches, was always sure that his wards could match up to any domestic side and to his satisfaction it all transpired on the field in his first stint with the team.
Naturally, there wasn’t a happier man on the park. “This is the best day of my life. Anything I have achieved so far, be it as a player or a coach, pales in comparison to this victory,” Asawa said.
“May be when I sit back alone, I will be able to understand how much it means to me. That is the time I will be able to recollect all the special moments in the season. It has been a dream journey.”
Asawa singles out the quarterfinal against Mumbai as the turning point in their successful campaign. “Even before that game we were confident of our abilities but when we actually beat them (on account of first-innings lead), we knew we could go all the way,” he said.
“Mumbai are a strong side and outplaying them gave us self-belief and confidence for the matches to come and today we stand here as Ranji champions.”
Talking about the final, Asawa said: “I was pleasantly surprised when they asked us to bat first and when we put up 394, we knew we had more or less sealed the issue. It was a winning total on this track and eventually that proved to be the case. In fact, I was amazed to see Baroda put up such a fight but over the five days we outplayed them in all the departments of the game.”
Rajasthan will begin another chapter in their cricketing history come next season when they start in the Super League. “We were never bogged down when we played Mumbai, Tamil Nadu and Baroda and same will be the case next season. They way we responded to pressure was the key to our success,” the 47-year-old said. “We aren’t afraid of any team.”