Former Indian off-spinner Pragyan Ojha has revealed a fascinating anecdote which took place during the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2009 season, where one of the Deccan Chargers’ (DC) franchise owners gifted him a watch as a reward for taking the wicket of Sachin Tendulkar.
The now-defunct Chargers were the IPL winners of the 2009 edition which was held in South Africa. The incident Ojha narrated about was during DC’s encounter with Sachin-led Mumbai Indians (MI) at Kingsmead in Durban.
Ojha also scalped the wickets of Shikhar Dhawan and JP Duminy along with the prized scalp of Tendulkar, finishing with figures of 3/21. He also walked away with the ‘Man of the Match’ award.
“This was in Durban, just before our game against MI. Our owner came to me, and the way I was bowling in South Africa, he had a word with me. He is from Hyderabad [the team Ojha represented in Ranji Trophy], [he is] one of the team owners in our local leagues in the Hyderabad Cricket Association system. He knows me right from my childhood. He walked up to me and said ‘Pragyan, if you get Sachin Tendulkar’s wicket, then definitely I’ll have a special gift for you,” Ojha said during his chat with Wisden.
Further, Ojha made sure that his old-accomplice and admirer knew about his fetish for watches.
“He knew exactly that I used to love watches. I told him, ‘Sir, If I get his wicket, I need a watch’. It so happened, the next day, I got Sachin paaji’s wicket and he gifted me a watch,” the retired cricketer added.
Interestingly, after his stint with Deccan Chargers, Ojha made a move to Rohit Sharma led MI Paltan.
“It’s a special wicket. Getting someone like Sachin paaji is a wonderful feeling, one of those wickets that you always dream of getting as a bowler. You feel nice, that you’re good enough to compete with people who have dominated world cricket,” Ojha concluded.