When Saurashtra was relegated to the Group-C at the end of the season 14-15, nobody would have thought that this team will make it to the Ranji trophy final very next year.
As they say “you do not loose, when you are down and out, but you do when you refuse to stand up again”. It was a disappointing season in 14-15 and relegation to the Plate group was indeed a real pain for all the stake holders. But the team got up, prepared hard, put in the greatest efforts in training and practice, gathered bits and pieces, believed in itself and bounced back from a real low to almost to the highest. Making it to the Ranji trophy final is by no means a small achievement for the team and it is a matter of proud for all of us Kathiawadis.
At the beginning of the season, it was Ravindra Jadeja who made a big difference by taking 37 wickets in ensuring back to back 3 outright wins at Home, while at the knock out stage it was Jaydev Unadkat, who bagged 20 wickets in 2 important games of Quarter final and Semi final to ensure a birth in the final. Cheteshwar Poojara, the most reliable batsman also made an impressive hundred in Semi final. However it doesn’t sum up the whole story because there were so many valuable performances and contributions from everyone in the team. Standing up to take the responsibility and deliver at the crucial moment of the game was an important factor which was exhibited by one or the other member of the team whenever it was required. Sheldon Jackson was the highest run getter for the team with 526 runs (2 hundreds and 2 fifties) while Ravindra Jadeja with 38 wickets and Jaydev Unadkat with 36 wickets were the top bowlers for Saurashtra for the season 2015-16.
A lot of hard work obviously has gone in to building up of this team, and for that everybody who contributed should be given credit and be applauded. And it includes first and foremost all the players and then theCaptain, Coach, Physio, Trainer, Manager, support staff, administration, Ground staff, selectors etc.
Jaydev Shah is the only Captain in the history of Saurashtra Cricket who has lead the team in the Ranji trophy final for two times in last 4 years and it speaks volumes about his leadership. Sitanshu Kotak as a coach has instilled the belief and the hunger in to this team to achieve laurels.
I know it is a dream for Everyone in Saurashtra that Ranji trophy should come to this region sooner than later and we all dream for it as well, if not this time surely the next time. But for now, let us stand up and clap for our team who has done exceedingly well during this season and let them know…
“No worries Boys, You guys have played some fantastic cricket during the season 15-16 and we all are so proud of you. From Plate group to finish as Ranji Trophy Runners up, it was very appreciable journey ”
- By Prakash Bhatt
(Prakash Bhatt is prominent and famous Cricketer from Saurashtra. He has played 51 first class matches and scored 3300 runs. He has been captain for Ranji Trophy team of Saurashtra. He played in Duleep Trophy and Deodhar Trophy for West Zone. He also played professional cricket in England and Kenya. Presently, he is official BCCI match referee.)