Mumbai’s Majestic Triumph Earns Them Record Ranji Trophy Reward

In a historic move that honours the excellence of Mumbai’s cricketers, the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) has decided to reward the city’s Ranji Trophy champions with a doubled prize fund. The decision follows the recent victory of the Ajinkya Rahane-led team over Vidarbha in the final stage of India’s prestigious first-class domestic cricket tournament. By clinching the title in a dominant fashion, Mumbai secured a stellar prize—an additional Rs 5 crore in reward money, demonstrating the unwavering support and recognition of their remarkable achievement.

The final held the thrill of cricket as Mumbai, after a slow start with the bat, managed a first-innings score of 224 thanks to Shardul Thakur’s crucial half-century. Vidarbha, facing an ensemble of precise and lethal bowling from Mumbai, could only muster 105 runs. Having gained a sizeable lead, Mumbai’s confidence soared, and the second innings revealed a pitch that had become markedly batter-friendly.

Taking full advantage of the conditions, the Mumbai batsmen put up a staggering display, accumulating 418 runs before declaring their innings. Young talent Musheer Khan shone with a masterful 136, while Shreyas Iyer fell just short of a century, bowing out on 95 runs. This onslaught set Vidarbha an almost insurmountable target of 538 runs for victory. Despite their skipper Akshay Wadkar scoring a defiant century and a hopeful sixth-wicket stand with Harsh Dubey suggesting the possibility of a miraculous comeback, the team ultimately succumbed to the pressure of the monumental chase, concluding their efforts at 368 runs.

The announcement of the doubled prize money was confirmed through a statement by MCA Secretary Ajinkya Naik, who heralded this season as an outstanding period for Mumbai cricket. Emphasizing the team’s success across various age categories in tournaments organized by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Naik’s statement captures the sense of pride and jubilation within the association: “MCA president Amol Kale and Apex Council have decided to double the Ranji Trophy prize money. The MCA will pay an additional sum of five crore of rupees to the winning Mumbai Ranji Trophy team. It has been a great year for the MCA as the association has won 7 titles and we have made it to the knockout stage in all age groups in BCCI tournaments.”

The denouement of the final saw Vidarbha’s resistance crumble within a span of five overs after their promising partnership was dismantled. Their downfall was completed by Mumbai veteran Dhawal Kulkarni, who fittingly claimed the final wicket in what was the concluding match of his storied career.

Mumbai’s 42nd trophy lift is not just a testament to their enduring class and dominance in Indian domestic cricket but also underlines the commitment of the MCA in promoting and appreciating the spirit and performance of its cricketers. The additional prize money serves as a tangible token of this appreciation, and likely a motivator for the current and upcoming generations of Mumbai cricketers to emulate and surpass the incredible feats achieved this season.

In recounting the journey to this triumph, we also remember the fierce rivals and the tales of individual brilliance that make the Ranji Trophy such an esteemed and fiercely contested competition in the Indian cricket calendar. Mumbai’s journey and the prize money increase signify not just a celebration of athletic excellence but also the vibrant cricket culture that thrives within the heart of Mumbai, setting a shining example for other cricket associations across the country.

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