Elated over Sunrisers Hyderabad making the playoffs in their very first year, team mentor Kris Srikkanth has compared the side's successful league-phase run in the Indian Premier League with India's 1983 World Cup win. (Also read: IPL steps up security for four teams, deploys ACSU officers)
Srikkanth, who was part of the 1983 World Cup-winning Indian team, was overjoyed with the performance of Sunrisers, who beat defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders by five wickets yesterday, to seal its place in the play-offs. ('Drunk' Sreesanth threw tantrums before his arrest)
"My memories went down to the 1983 World Cup. Nobody gave us a chance in the World Cup that year, but we qualified and won at the end of the day. The feeling today is quite similar as no one gave the Sunrisers a chance in the tournament, and today we have qualified for the playoffs," Srikkanth said.
With the win against KKR, the Sunrisers have not only booked a berth in the play-offs but have also managed to knock favourites Royal Challengers Bangalore out of the tournament. (Rajasthan Royals terminate contracts of tainted players)
"If you look at the team, we had the faith and belief that we would make it. Everybody said we were the underdogs, but we were not worried about it. This team is built on teamwork and not individual performance," Srikkanth told iplt20.com.
"The core of the team has been the supportive nature of its members. Everybody backed each other through the ups and downs in the tournament which has helped in the team's success," he insisted.
Srikkanth describes the Sunrisers' journey in the ongoing IPL as "fantastic".
"The journey for us has been fantastic. Before the start of the tournament, the only thing we told the boys was to play with a lot of passion. They have done exactly that and it is this passion in their hearts that has got the team thus far," he said.