Ojha recalls he was promised prize to dissmiss Sachin
Former left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha has recalled that he was promised a watch by the Deccan Chargers owner for dismissing Mumbai Indians’ Sachin Tendulkar. He also confessed that Sachin’s wicket is one of his dream wickets and he received the promised gift after dismissing Sachin in 2009 IPL.
Spinner Ojha was one of the pillars of strength for the Deccan Chargers side in the early stage. Ojha played for Hyderabad in the Ranji Trophy, and took the attention of IPL teams. Roped in by the owners, who knew his calibre. Although, he couldn’t make his debut tournament memorable but yet managed to get into the second season.
At one point of his second season, they had to beat Mumbai Indians who was the contender and Tendulkar was playing in that side. Deccan Chargers put 168 runs on board to throw a challenge. While Chasing 169, Sachin’s partnership with JP Duminy threatened to take the game away from them.
At that time, one of the franchise’s owners had promised him a watch for wicket of Tenndulkar. Fortunately, Ojha picked up the wicket and Deccan won the game by 12 runs.
“Our owner met me at the team dinner the night before the game, and the way I was bowling in South Africa, he had a word with me. He is from Hyderabad (the team Ojha represented in Ranji Trophy), (he is) one of the team owners in our local leagues in the Hyderabad Cricket Association system. He knows me right from my childhood. He walked up to me and said ‘Pragyan, if you get Sachin Tendulkar’s wicket, then definitely I’ll have a special gift for you,” Ojha told Wisden.
“I told him, ‘Sir, If I get his wicket, I need a watch’. It so happened, the next day, I got Sachin paaji’s wicket and he gifted me a watch.” he added.
Ojha also admitted that it is a special feeling to have picked up the Mumbai batsman’s wicket.
“Getting someone like Sachin paaji is a wonderful feeling, one of those wickets that you always dream of getting as a bowler. You feel nice, that you’re good enough to compete with people who have dominated world cricket.” he concluded.