“I just remember how much fun everybody had” – Ricky Ponting Reminisces an Unforgettable IPL 2019

For years, loyal fans of the Delhi franchise would make optimistic statements like “The squad looks great this year!” or “Iss baar toh Playoffs pakka hai!” at the beginning of a new season. These statements were seldom met with agreement. The only socially acceptable way to respond to well-intentioned and hopeful statements from Delhi fans was a smirk, a scoff and a sarcastic “This is Delhi we’re talking about!”

What they didn’t realize at the start of the 2019 IPL season is that it wasn’t Delhi we were talking about. #ThisIsNewDelhi.

We sat down with Ricky Ponting for a casual tête-à-tête ahead of the IPL 2020 auction to discuss key takeaways from the previous season. “Oh look, I just remember how much fun the whole season was last year!” said Ricky Ponting almost before we even completed our question. “We all wanted to make it feel like a fresh start for everybody. New name – Delhi Capitals. So that’s the way we went about it, you know. A totally fresh start, forgetting about the past and trying to create our own culture and our own environment where players were having fun and enjoying themselves.”

The task was to create an atmosphere where the players enjoyed their cricket and felt no pressure. The team had dinner together after every win and every loss. It’s not difficult for a team to be together in victory. It’s after a loss that players tend to brood in isolation. The players didn’t have that option this time around.

“We all wanted to make it feel like a fresh start for everybody. New name – Delhi Capitals. So that’s the way we went about it, you know.”

As Ishant Sharma retransformed himself as a T20 bowler, as Rishabh Pant put attacks to the sword, or as Shikhar Dhawan became his ultra-aggressive self at the top of the order, you could see they were enjoying their cricket with utmost freedom.

When you take the pressure of failure or loss out of the equation, the rest automatically falls into place. “We trained really hard. We played some great cricket. I still sit in here 7 or 8 months later and think back that at different times it felt like we were the best team in the tournament,” added the Head Coach. Not many would disagree.

The Capitals looked like the team to beat when Rishabh Pant’s blitz at the Wankhede helped thump the eventual champions Mumbai Indians in their opening fixture. It looked like the franchise that was rather infamous for letting games slip out of their hands had finally learnt how to snatch victory emphatically when Kagiso Rabada castled Andre Russell with an unplayable yorker in the Super Over. After all, this was New Delhi, wasn’t it?

“I still sit in here 7 or 8 months later and think back that at different times it felt like we were the best team in the tournament.”

The players weren’t the only ones enjoying themselves though. Ricky Ponting and Sourav Ganguly were staunch rivals for the better part of the late ‘90s and 2000s. It’s when they came together for a purpose that the mutual respect they had for each other came to the forefront, and they had a blast mentoring the squad and reveling in their success. “I just remember how much fun everybody had. It was a totally different environment than most other IPLs I’ve been a part of,” expressed Ponting.

The IPL 2020 auction is now just around the corner. Which means, it’s time for Ricky Ponting and Co. to build a squad that can one up what the DC Class of 2019 achieved. “That’s what we’re going to try and recreate again this year. Hopefully, we can have similar success.”

The last season was about a fresh start. This one is going to be about becoming a force. The mantra though, is still going to be the same.

“I just remember how much fun everybody had” – Ricky Ponting Reminisces an Unforgettable IPL 2019

For years, loyal fans of the Delhi franchise would make optimistic statements like “The squad looks great this year!” or “Iss baar toh Playoffs pakka hai!” at the beginning of a new season. These statements were seldom met with agreement. The only socially acceptable way to respond to well-intentioned and hopeful statements from Delhi fans was a smirk, a scoff and a sarcastic “This is Delhi we’re talking about!”

What they didn’t realize at the start of the 2019 IPL season is that it wasn’t Delhi we were talking about. #ThisIsNewDelhi.

We sat down with Ricky Ponting for a casual tête-à-tête ahead of the IPL 2020 auction to discuss key takeaways from the previous season. “Oh look, I just remember how much fun the whole season was last year!” said Ricky Ponting almost before we even completed our question. “We all wanted to make it feel like a fresh start for everybody. New name – Delhi Capitals. So that’s the way we went about it, you know. A totally fresh start, forgetting about the past and trying to create our own culture and our own environment where players were having fun and enjoying themselves.”

The task was to create an atmosphere where the players enjoyed their cricket and felt no pressure. The team had dinner together after every win and every loss. It’s not difficult for a team to be together in victory. It’s after a loss that players tend to brood in isolation. The players didn’t have that option this time around.

“We all wanted to make it feel like a fresh start for everybody. New name – Delhi Capitals. So that’s the way we went about it, you know.”

As Ishant Sharma retransformed himself as a T20 bowler, as Rishabh Pant put attacks to the sword, or as Shikhar Dhawan became his ultra-aggressive self at the top of the order, you could see they were enjoying their cricket with utmost freedom.

When you take the pressure of failure or loss out of the equation, the rest automatically falls into place. “We trained really hard. We played some great cricket. I still sit in here 7 or 8 months later and think back that at different times it felt like we were the best team in the tournament,” added the Head Coach. Not many would disagree.

The Capitals looked like the team to beat when Rishabh Pant’s blitz at the Wankhede helped thump the eventual champions Mumbai Indians in their opening fixture. It looked like the franchise that was rather infamous for letting games slip out of their hands had finally learnt how to snatch victory emphatically when Kagiso Rabada castled Andre Russell with an unplayable yorker in the Super Over. After all, this was New Delhi, wasn’t it?

“I still sit in here 7 or 8 months later and think back that at different times it felt like we were the best team in the tournament.”

The players weren’t the only ones enjoying themselves though. Ricky Ponting and Sourav Ganguly were staunch rivals for the better part of the late ‘90s and 2000s. It’s when they came together for a purpose that the mutual respect they had for each other came to the forefront, and they had a blast mentoring the squad and reveling in their success. “I just remember how much fun everybody had. It was a totally different environment than most other IPLs I’ve been a part of,” expressed Ponting.

The IPL 2020 auction is now just around the corner. Which means, it’s time for Ricky Ponting and Co. to build a squad that can one up what the DC Class of 2019 achieved. “That’s what we’re going to try and recreate again this year. Hopefully, we can have similar success.”

The last season was about a fresh start. This one is going to be about becoming a force. The mantra though, is still going to be the same.

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