Kolkata: Former India skipper Sourav Ganguly today hailed the maiden victory of Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL, saying the team was destined to win and credited little-known Manvinder Singh Bisla for the triumph.
"After the first six overs in the KKR innings, I thought 191 was gettable. I thought KKR was destined to win. Bisla batted superbly. It was clean hitting. He played out of his skin," Ganguly said.
Bisla never allowed the pressure to choke him and along with Jacques Kallis did not allow the required run rate to go out of control, Ganguly, who was also a former KKR captain, said.
He went on to say, "Kolkata Knight Riders are deserving winners. Chennai Super Kings never seemed as consistently good as the Knights."
Ganguly`s elder brother Snehasish, who was a former Ranji player, wondered if the triumph would help Bengal cricket.
"It`s a franchise (KKR) that has won it. But I`m not sure how much the city and state would benefit from their success. IPL is a commercial venture afterall," said Snehashish.
"The tournament started with the principle that every team would develop cricket at their regions, like what we saw with Rajasthan in the first edition. But as of now, KKR has no contribution to Bengal cricket."
"It would really help the state, if they (KKR) tie up with CAB, bring out an academy with international coaches here," he said.
CAB presient Jagmohan Dalmiya congratulated the home team for their superb IPL success and said they would organise a grand function at the Eden Gardens tomorrow to celebrate the famous victory.
Former India women`s cricket team captain Jhulan Goswami said the win has put Kolkata on the world map once again.
"IPL is a tournament followed all over the world. The success has put Kolkata at the top. It`s a matter of pride for us. A big salute to KKR," Goswami said.
"They have been a picture of consistency. They deserved to win the title. If you see their track record, they have played some outstanding cricket throughout the tournament. Beating Chennai in Chennai is not easy.
"Everybody was saying about Sunil Narine. But yesterday it was different. He conceded 37 without taking any wicket. But that did not stop the Knight Riders from winning the title.
"The toss also did not go their way and Chennai put on a superb stand while Raina finally fired in the tournament (with a 38-ball 73). But the way Manvinder Bisla counterattacked the Super Kings bowlers was terrific, while Jacques Kallis brought his experience to full use," he said.
Heaping high praise on the Haryana lad, former India cricketer Ashok Malhotra said: "It`s the best innings of his life. Many might have criticised Gambhir`s decision not to include McCullum in the XI but Bisla`s inclusion became the masterstroke.
"Kallis also played a superb innings by holding one end. I always feel after Garry Sobers, Kallis is the all-time best allrounder. He brought all his experience to use in the final. Tiwary also played a crucial knock by finishing the game with a cool head."
A Mahendra Singh Dhoni supporter, former cricketer Raju Mukherjee followed CSK all along, but the veteran praised Gambhir and said the lefthander was graceful in the triumph.
"Honestly, I`m a supporter of Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals for Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Rahul Dravid, the two true gentlemen of the game. Dhoni is our outstanding (Indian) skipper so the loyalty will always be with him."
"In a game, one has to win and the other lose. You have to be graceful both in victory and defeat. It`s a huge thing for Kolkata to win this tournament. The captain led from the front, while Sunil Narine was exceptional throughout."
Almost all the youngsters, like Bisla in the final, chipped in, Mukherjee said adding not just in Kolkata, it was a proud moment for everybody.