Daredevils have firepower to win IPL: Sehwag

March 15th, 2008 - 11:37 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, March 15 (IANS) Virender Sehwag was disappointed at not being able to pick up India’s latest pace sensation Ishant Sharma for Delhi Daredevils in the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction, but at the same time said he was confident that his team, without superstars, has the firepower to lift the inaugural title. Sehwag was being modest for he himself was being tipped as the superstar by the franchisee, GMR, who also announced Hero Honda as the official sponsor of the team. GMR also announced Adidas as apparel partners and Kingfisher as associate sponsor.

“I am happy with the team composition. We have got most of the players we wanted, except Ishant. We tried a lot for him but the budget was exceeded,” Sehwag told reporters here at a glittering function.

Hero Honda Managing Director Pawan Munjal said he was confident of Delhi Daredevils winning the IPL title. When someone asked Sehwag if the stadiums would fill up for the IPL games, Munjal smiled and said: “We have more than 10,000 employees in Hero Honda and I am sure they would love to come and back Delhi.”

Speaking on Ishant, Sehwag added: “I am happy for Kolkata team. There was a possibility to get Ishant, but that would have spoilt the balance of our team as we needed eight foreign players in the side.”

The 29-year-old Delhi dasher also expressed his delight with the number of local cricketers the Daredevils have in the team and said as a skipper it would help him bind the side together.

“I never wanted any superstar in my team. I wanted more local players and that we have got. I had already planned everything with T.A Sekar before the auction,” he said.

However, chief selector of Daredevils Sekar said that what marred their plans in Ishant’s acquisition was the late presentation of the speedster’s name in the auction.

“Ishant’s name was in the last group of players presented for auction and by that time we already exceeded our budget. Halfway through the bidding we already knew that we might not get him,” Sekar said.

Sehwag, better known as the Nawab of Najafgarh, also said that it was his desire to represent his birth place Delhi that forced him to request the franchise holder of the team GMR Group to urge the organisers to include him in the icon players category.

One of the directors of the GMR group, S. Wanchi also said, half in jest: “We were so keen on Sehwag that we approached everybody - Sheila Dikshit, Sharad Pawar (President of BCCI) to ensure we got him.”

Asked about the responsibility which captaincy brings, Sehwag said: “My task is to handle the players and keep them together as a unit throughout the tournament to ensure that everyone gives their 100 percent on the field.”

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