Producing more international players will be a big boost for Odisha cricket: Vijay Dahiya

Bhubaneswar: An international wicket-keeper, coach and also a cricket commentator. Vijay Dahiya has donned many hats. Recently he was in Bhubaneswar to call the Vizzy Trophy Final live for Star Sports. This was the first occasion that the inter-zonal university cricket championship played in the ‘Temple City’ was aired live on a national television channel and Dahiya was elated to commentate in the final. On the sidelines of the match, odishatv.in caught up with him for a quick chat. Here are the excerpts…

  • Importance of Vizzy Trophy

It’s really magnificent. It is a very positive step. More kids in colleges and universities will take cricket seriously. I have played the game and as an ex-cricketer I think this is a brilliant move by BCCI to bring the tournament back in focus. Showing the game live means a lot for the players and will generate more interest among the college students for sure. Organisers can plan for the next year from today as they have enough time to work it out. They have taken the initiative this year and they can decide about many other issues like age limit of the players from next season.

  • Infrastructure at KIIT Cricket Stadium

Good to see matches and important ones being organised at different venues in the state. I was here before as well during 2015-16 Ranji Trophy season for a game between Odisha and Delhi as a coach. The facilities are good for any first-class match. The venue is getting better every year. That’s something what you want as a cricketer, seeing venues getting better with modern facilities and it is good to see the authorities here are working on the feedback they receive.

  • Memories of Odisha

Odisha has always been very memorable for me. I played in a one day international match against Zimbabwe back in 2000 at Barabati Stadium. I also came back as a coaching staff with the Kolkata Knight Riders side for a few Indian Premier League matches hosted at the same venue. Delhi team also toured Bhubaneswar and as I have already said earlier, I was the coach then. So it has been a great association with the state. People are really enthusiastic about cricket here and it’s always heartening to see packed galleries at Barabati in Cuttack. I think the game will certainly improve in the State because the interest is clearly visible among the people here. Producing more international players will be a big boost for Odisha cricket.

  • Staying connected with cricket

It’s a blessing that I am still able to contribute something to the game. Cricket is something that I have enjoyed from my childhood and cricket is all I know in my life. I feel lucky to stay connected with the game. I loved playing this game but now roles have changed. Nothing better than being at the ground each and every time during a big game. I love coaching the most but yes even being a commentator I stay connected with the sport and can voice my opinion as well.