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Kolkata: May 27, 2013
Mumbai Indians opener Dwayne Smith feels Ricky Ponting has been an amazing leader.
“It was amazing. Even when he wasn’t playing he always had something positive to say and that helped the team to no end. He was always involved, was out on the field during every strategic timeout and he kept us all together.”
Smith said that before the match started he told Kieron Pollard that either he or the latter has to be the Man of the Match in the final game.
“I watched the team lose the 2010 final and I am so glad to be part of the winning team. Before the game I was talking to [Kieron] Pollard that one of us has to be the Man of the Match on Sunday. When I got out, I told him, ‘I didn’t do it so you will have to win this for us and I know you will.’ He came out trumps and I love that,” he was quoted as saying by IPLT20.com.
“This is my first major final that I’ve played in and I’ve come out as a winner. I’m so happy.”
Smith has been a key performer throughout the season. He seldom replaced Sachin Tendulkar or Ponting at the top.
“Replacing the Tendulkar-Ponting pair at the top of the order I had nothing to lose. I just had to go out there, back myself and be positive in everything I do. It came good at times and I’m glad it resulted in us winning the tournament.”
On speaking about working with John Wright, Smith said, “Apart from him being really nervous during the games, he’s been very good. He’s very inspirational and it’s been great working with not only him but the entire leadership group including Ponting, Kumble, Jonty Rhodes and Robin Singh.”
This year’s IPL has seen plenty of West Indian players come up and rock the tournament. Be it Dwayne Bravo of Chennai Super Kings or Chris Gayle of Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Smith said, “Yes, at the beginning of the tournament I talked to Chris (Gayle) and we said, ‘at least one of us has to make it to the final and make we end up winning’. It’s good to fulfill that promise and I am glad that all the West Indian players have performed well throughout.”
“Some of the guys will go to the England for the Champion Trophy and I go back to Barbados and then join Sussex later in June. But hopefully some day we can all come together, talk about the IPL and celebrate together.”
“We West Indians don’t have to work on our dance moves because we always have them,” he concluded.
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