Sachin Tendulkar may have voluntarily decided not to play Twenty20 internationals but the senior batsman assured that he will continue playing in the Indian Premier League.
“It has been a very special tournament for us, barring today. Most likely I will be playing next year as well. It has been fun playing in the IPL. I have enjoyed a lot. I have always enjoyed playing cricket,” Tendulkar said after his side lost by 22 runs to Chennai Super Kings in the IPL III summit clash.
Tendulkar said poor fielding has cost his side dear in the grand finale at the DY Patil Stadium, although their slow beginning in the run chase was also to be blamed.
“A couple of important catches cost us. There is a saying that catches win matches. The start in the run chase also was not up to the mark. We could have accelerated a little bit more,” he said.
“Towards the end, Kieron Pollard came in with a fine effort but it was a bit late. We tried hard to accelerate the run-rate but it was one of those days when things did not click,” he added.
Tendulkar also thanked the franchise owner, support staff, his teammates and the crowd for their support.
“I want to thank all the Mumbai Indians supporters. It’s been a terrific journey. It’s been an honour to be part of Mumbai Indians team. The support from team owners and staff have been tremendous,” said Tendulkar.
He also congratulated Chennai Super Kings on winning their maiden title.
“Congratulations to Chennai for winning the tournament. They played better than us today,” said the veteran batsman.
Meanwhile, Chennai captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni credited the team for playing as a unit and winning the title.
“Credit goes to the team, we were under pressure in the middle of the tournament, excited to lift the trophy today,” Dhoni said.
“We were happy with the total, the Mumbai wicket supports the seamers and (Doug) Bollinger did well early, (R) Ashwin has been doing a superb job with new ball. We were able to create the kind of pressure to get wickets,” he added.
Dhoni also feels that inclusion of two more sides in the tournament will only make the competition tougher.
“The IPL gets better and better, the benchmark keeps rising each year. The players will sweat more because of extra teams next year, the pressure will be on the office-bearers to make it further big,” he said.
Man-of-the-match Suresh Raina, who made a breezy 35-ball 57 in the final, said: “Our staffs have put in lot of hard work. I’m really happy for the team. It’s been a great year for us.”