DURBAN: “When I watch Sanath Jayasuriya on the field, I find him so agile that he can put a 20-year-old to shame. I can’t believe that he is 40,” says Mumbai Indians co-owner Nita Ambani, who is on a high after the team’s win against Chennai Super Kings in the inaugural match of the DLF Indian Premier League on Saturday.
In awe for the seniors in her team, Nita Ambani feels that seniors like Sachin Tendulkar and Sanath Jayasuriya were brilliant in their first match and players like them have a vital role to play for her team.
“The seniors have done quite well, Sachin proving to be the master. We have a great bowling attack in Zaheer Khan, Lasith Malinga and Harbhajan Singh and since bowlers have been playing a vital role for their teams so far, we do have an advantage,” says Nita Ambani, stating that she was more involved with her team this year than last season.
“Since our first two matches against last year’s runners-up Chennai Super Kings and defending champions Rajasthan Royals, I deliberately asked (husband) Mukesh to be with me for his support,” she says. “It is fun interacting with the owners of other teams away from home. The great atmosphere here is great. It’s more like a family where we keep exchanging notes. IPL is getting great support from the South Africans and that’s good for the game,” she says.
Admiring mentor Shaun Pollock’s contribution to her team, Nita Ambani said Mumbai Indians never wanted to lose Pollock even though he was injured. “Shaun is a fantastic cricketer and a great human being. I never wanted to lose Shaun and since he could not play due to back injury, we offered him the coach’s post, which he accepted.”