18th Feb, 2024

“This one is for the MI Family. They are the best in the world”: Nicholas Pooran

By MI Emirates Media

It’s a beast of a trophy. And it’s ours. We aren’t done gushing over Nicholas Pooran. Here he is, at the post-match press conference, walking in with his toddler daughter, and answering a whole range of questions. In this last one month, he’s given us memories to last us a lifetime. Excerpts..

First thoughts on winning the championship

The guys have been brilliant. This journey started last year for us when we lost in the eliminator. We got some different personnel, but the core stuck through. You see (Muhammad) Waseem or (Mohammad) Rohid or Waqar (Salamkheil) taking that opportunity and becoming match-winners. From day one, the objective was to win. 

On playing a captain’s innings

It’s always important being the captain. Regardless of if I am the captain or not, I see myself as a leader and want to lead from the front. But in a tournament like this, everyone has to step up. 

To whom would he dedicate this win

Just to the MI franchise. They are the most successful cricket franchise. This is their tenth win. Regardless of whether they have a strong team or not, their target is to win. This win is dedicated to them. They are very passionate. Really happy we could be the ones winning it for them. 

On the six dropped catches

That was just one of our strategies to win (laughs). But I don’t want to comment too much on it. Maybe we could have won the game by a bigger margin. But at the end of the day, we got home. 

Thoughts on stepping up on the big night

For me, it is all about stepping up. I believe if you want something in life, you have to go get it. Yes, finals is pressure, MI is a big franchise. I have lost a lot of games in my career so far and have learnt a lot. I could convert 20s into 30s, 30s into match-winning innings. Especially being not out as well in some innings. It is a big box for me to tick. Happy that all the all the hard work I have put in over the years is showing rewards, especially winning titles because that is big for me. 

On losing the toss and having to bat first

We always wanted to bat today and I said it at the toss. Actions speak louder than words. It is exactly how we wanted to play the game. 

On Muhammad Waseem’s stellar form

I expect franchises to take notice. Yes, he is a UAE player but he is very good. He is very aggressive, he has a lot to offer. He is young. I expect him to continue to perform and improve. 

Whether nervousness crept in

Chasing 208 was always going to be difficult, and thankfully we have a lot of senior players in the team. Even when Sam Billings was batting superbly, Bravo came up and said, ‘let’s make him hit over mid-off. Hopefully he can chip it’. Really nice to see it come off. You can’t buy experience. These guys have been in that situation. Even for myself, I have been captain for West Indies. I have had bad days and have made bad decisions. At this point, I have learnt a lot. It has helped me make better cricketing decisions. When you have really good quality players, you cannot ask for anything else. Akeal was bowling 2-3 overs in the powerplay for 10 runs. My job was easy. 

Summing up the ILT20 tournament

We really wanted this win, and we got it. From the management to the physios, coaches, everyone, owner, director, works hard. The tournament is challenging. We played a game in Dubai, drive down and play a game in Abu Dhabi the next day. 

On being a part of the MI #OneFamily

I have said it before, I am a son of the T20 format and franchise cricket. The Mumbai franchise are one of the best in the world. That level of professionalism here is a good opportunity for every young player to interact with the legends as well. I had this opportunity when I was 20 years old in the IPL to come to Mumbai Indians and I got the opportunity to interact with Mahela Jayawardene, Sachin Tendulkar. Really happy to be involved and winning is just the icing on the cake. 

On the backing of the senior players

The support was really important. Getting all the senior players to buy in and trust me 100%. Lucky to have them as teammates. We are building a relationship where most of the times I make a decision and they try and execute that plan 100%. As a young captain, support is really key. Boult, Bravo giving me that respect helped me a lot. 



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