Ojha dedicates jury award for best bowler to father

Ojha dedicates jury award for best bowler to father

Ojha dedicates jury award for best bowler to father

"To be very frank, yes, I was expecting it (Jury Award) because I have done pretty well this tournament and the way things were going I was positive about it. "It's a great feeling, knowing that I'm the jury and viewer's best bowler. I can't say anything more. I am very happy and delighted. I would like to dedicate this to my parents, especially my dad. Belated happy birthday dad. This one is for you," he was quoted saying at the IPL's official website.

The 23-year-old Ojha received the Jury Award for the Best Bowler as well as the Viewers' Choice Award for Best Bowler at the function last night which was boycotted by the entire BCCI big brass. The Orissa-born spinner said the Viewers' Choice award, announced by Mumbai Indians team owner Nita Ambani, is special. "It's a great feeling. It's a very big tournament, it's recognised across the world, and it's great to perform and do well against one of the best batsmen you face. I seriously never expected this. I'm very happy and delighted", he said.

Ojha, who has played three Tests and nine ODIs in his fledgling career, felt that the award won by him was an indication of the role being played by slow bowlers in the tournament. "I feel that when you see spinners like Ravinchandran Ashwin, Muttiah Muralitharan, Murali Kartik - everyone has done a great job. I do feel that spinners have a very crucial role to play," said the bowler.

Mumbai Indians' feisty off-spinner Harbhajan Singh won the Jury Award for the 'Most Dramatic Performance' for scoring a blistering 49 not out against the Chargers. Harbhajan said he was satisfied with his performance with both the bat and the ball. "I am very happy for the way in which things have gone for me as well. I've bowled very well when required, and I've batted very well, touch wood. Hopefully I'll continue to do so even in the final," he remarked.

Key Chennai Super Kings player Suresh Raina, who caught the fancy of the Viewers to win the 'Best Fielder' award, credited his team captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, chief coach Stephen Fleming and fielding coach Steve Rixon.

"It's very special for me, and I would like to congratulate my team as well. Dhoni, Fleming and my CSK fielding coach Steve Rixon," Raina said.  He also thanked MI coach Robin Singh for mentoring him from his India under-19 days. "I would also like to thank Robin Singh who was my coach throughout my under-19 days. Robin Singh was with us when I went to the U-19s in England. He really helped me, and I have worked very hard thanks to him. Thanks Robs, and credit goes to him as well," he said.

"To be honest, it's a good platform when a young player gets an award and it's always special. The next time he plays it's always a motivation to get the award again. It's something special for me," he added. Chargers captain Adam Gilchrist, winner of the Viewers' Choice Award for the 'Most Fan-friendly Cricketer', said it was a unique honour.

"It's a wonderful acknowledgement to know that people watching the game, and they are the most important people in the game, the fans who come out and support you, it's nice to know that they enjoy the way I play and I really appreciate their support," the former Australian wicketkeeper-batsman said. "Yes, it's a unique category. I have never seen this before in any cricket awards programme, so to pick it up is a nice acknowledgement," he said.

Royal Challengers' flamboyant batsman Robin Uthappa, who was voted the most stylish player by the viewers, said "Finally all my hard work is paying off. I will keep working hard; do not want to stop here, want to make a comeback to the Indian side, want to make an impact there as well and am working hard towards that.

Leg spin ace Anil Kumble, who got the Breakthrough Performance 2009 Award, said it was wonderful for his performance to be recognised in the Twenty20 format after having retired from international cricket. "It's nice to be recognised, especially in this format, after I had given up playing international cricket. Just to play in the IPL Twenty20 format, to receive an award is really nice. Thank you, jury," he said.