Deccan Chargers and Rajasthan Royals are among the one-time winners in the IPL history who grabbed the trophy during the inaugural editions of the lucrative tournament. However, it was a tough ask for the Deccan Chargers, to climb the summit in 2009 after they were left sponsorless ahead of the season. The now defunct side were in contention of winning the IPL 2008 but after former Australia all-rounder Andrew Symonds had to leave in the middle of the season, and VVS Laxman was left injured, the franchise finished with a wooden spoon.
The beginning of the IPL 2009 saw their main sponsors ‘Jaypee Group’ pulling out. It led to the franchise changing the hue of their jersey, leading to morale challenges for players who had given it their best, but failed to produce the best result in the previous season. And in this situation the experience of Australia great Adam Gilchrist came to the fore as he reunited his forces and worked on their mentality to take them to the summit.
The situation was tense in the dressing room but Gilchrist worked his ways around the franchise. Former India spinner Pragyan Ojha who was a part of the franchise during their triumph gave a rousing speech to the players and told them that the lack of training kits would hardly matter if they become champions. That changed the tempo for the franchise and boosted their morale.
“After finishing last in 2008, we didn’t have sponsors. Because of late sponsors, you know, when we reached South Africa, we had limited amount of clothes…training kits. That’s when Gilly came and told us that all these things don’t matter, what matters is once you win the championship, see how things will change. And I’m telling you, once we won, it was totally a different thing,” Pragyan Ojha told Cricbuzz.
“Deccan Chargers were suddenly a different brand. Everybody started looking at us in a different way. You’re playing in alien conditions, nobody had a home advantage… nobody expected us to win after how we performed in the first [season]. We were a different team in the second edition,” he added.