Neeta Ambani and her Mumbai Indians

Just watched Mrs. Neeta Ambani express her opinions in an interview to Gaurav before the start of the Mumbai Indians game against Delhi Daredevils in the hot and sunny Brabourne. She detailed the changes she herself underwent to improve on her performance as the owner of a sports entertainment business in one of the most envied metros in the world. How she started understanding the game more after her spectatorly indulgence in the first 2 years. Her transformation for this role is now complete.

She poignantly stated the very essence of success in this universally competitive field of sports entertainment. And she managed to extract the essence for us in few words. “A happy team is a winning team”. That is, as in life, even in sports and games, strive for happiness, not victory. Victory is an eventual by-product of the first. Do not be fooled by teams that are happy because they are winning, the true teams to root for are the ones that are winning because they are happy. And when asked on who is at the top of the Mumbai Indians, her or Sachin, she quickly, pleasantly, sincerely and earnestly corrected that there are no hierarchies in Mumbai Indians. Even the newest and youngest members are as important to them as the most senior, most expensive or the owner herself. Her detailed study of cricket helped her come to the right decisions in consultation with the support staff on the right fit from among the young domestic pool. The performance of Saurabh Tiwari, Shikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu and Dhawal Kulkarni, none of who made the Indian national team so far, should be sufficient to vindicate their calculations. Picking Kieron Pollard as the most expensive lottery of the recent IPL auction was I’m sure a result of Mrs. Neeta Ambani’s persuasion.

Her overall relations with the on field leader and the most prized member of that organization, Sachin Tendulkar, is one of mutual respect for each other’s effort towards their common goal. This rubs off on everyone and is quite evident by their performance so far in all their games, even the ones that didn’t have their desired result. I have often noted that after losses, Mumbai Indians rarely sulk. They are still in good spirits and that’s because they know that their boss wants them to enjoy the game first, win later. Their performance rarely shows that they have not put in their best effort, an effort that their fans would be proud of. Further, during the interview Mrs. Neeta Ambani also brought in the essential factor in the formula for a successful sports entertainment business by dedicating the 2010 Mumbai Indians success to their fans. The very fans who had been let down by some apathetic decision making in the last 2 editions of the IPL. Sachin was half the leader that he his now. His performance so far itself speaks about his efforts in preparing for this edition. He has invented the best strategy in batting, role play, bowling attack and fielding strengths that has gotten them so far. The intensity of each fielder on the field was palpable. I watched an impressive fielding performance from this unit where they never fumbled, let alone misfield, throughout the entire game. The boys would have certainly made Jonty proud that day. 3 key run outs in the match against Deccan Chargers, wow!

This is a very special organization we are witnessing. With attitude like this one can easily forgive them for the lack in vision when choosing a name for their team. Indians limits their fan base. This team and the qualities they aspire are one for the entire world to fall in love with!

17th April, 2010, Mumbai

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