On the occasion of Indian Premier League (IPL) completing 14 glorious years, Delhi Capitals managed to compile anecdotes of the first season and the first game as veteran cricketers like Shane Watson, Ricky Ponting, Ajit Agarkar recalled their stories from the 2008 season. Ponting, the former Australia captain, who was picked by Kolkata Knight Riders in first season, recalled his partnership with Brendon McCullum in that iconic season opener, before naming an Indian bowler that left him mighty impressed at the KKR nets. (IPL 2022 FULL COVERAGE)
Talking to Delhi Capitals, Ponting named Ashok Dinda as the bowler that caught his attention at the nets after he bowled bouncers to all the batters in every practice session for a length of 7 to 10 days. Dinda was still an uncapped player was only a net bowler for the franchise before Ponting convinced KKR coach John Buchanan to give him a contract.
“Ashok Dinda was a net bowler for us at Kolkata, and for 7-10 days, he literally ran in and bowled bouncers at all of us for every session. And I ended up saying John Buchanan that ‘there is something about this guy, let’s give him a contract.’ And he ended up getting one. I think he took maybe the first three wickets as well of the IPL, and that was the start of what ended up being the 12 or 13-year career for Ashok Dinda in the IPL,” he said.
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Dinda picked nine wickets in that season at an economy rate of 6.67.
He eventually left KKR to join Delhi Daredevils in 2011. He also played for Pune Warriors India between 2012 and 2013, Royal Challengers Bangalore for 2014 and 2015 and Rising Pune Supergiant between 2016 and 2017. He finished his IPL career with 69 wickets with an economy rate of 8.20 in 78 matches.
Ponting also talked about McCullum’s knock and how he tried to slow him down, but the New Zealand batter kept clobbering boundaries and sixes.
“We didn’t really know about the tempo of the game or what the score was going to be. Brendon was opening the batting, and I was batting at three and got off to an unbelievable start. It seemed like everything he hit had just flew off the bat. I was trying to slow him down a little bit, and he was going harder and harder and ended up playing an incredible innings. What better than seeing the first game of the tournament than someone going out there and getting 158,” he said.