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Excited to see Guwahati debut as IPL venue: Uthappa

By Kausav Baruah

GUWAHATI, Feb 28 - With Guwahati all set to host Indian Premier League (IPL) matches, Robin Uthappa � who has been roped in by the Rajasthan Royals (RR) for this season � is all excited to be a part of this new beginning.

The Assam Cricket Association (ACA) Stadium in Barsapara here will host two home games of Rajasthan Royals in the upcoming IPL. The former champions will play Delhi Capitals and Kolkata Knight Riders on April 5 and April 9 respectively.

In an interview with The Assam Tribune, the former India batsman spoke on a number of aspects regarding the IPL as well as his journey so far.

Asked regarding the infrastructure at the ACA Stadium, the 2007 T20 World Cup-winning player said: �I have played a Ranji Trophy game here in 2015, so for me it�s the second time at this ground. I am happy to be here, it�s a great venue. I also think that cricket should spread to all parts of the country. People in the East outside Kolkata deserve to have some cricket as well.

�I am very happy that the IPL has come here and we are able to play two of our home games here. I am certain we will do well here and make sure that everyone enjoys cricket.�

The Steve Smith-led side starts its campaign with the match against Chennai Super Kings on April 2. A seasoned campaigner, Uthappa, who was earlier released by Kolkata Knight Riders was roped in by RR for Rs 3 crore, twice his base price.

�RR has always been a formidable side whenever I have played against them. I am very happy to be a part of this family. It�s a very strong unit. I have really enjoyed whatever I have experienced so far.�

Uthappa has played 177 matches in all the editions of the IPL in which he has scored 4411 runs at a strike rate of 130.50, including 24 fifties.

Regarding his IPL experience, Uthappa said: �It�s been a very good one for me with reasonable amount of success. Obviously I want to do well, win more championships and that�s the goal. Numbers will speak for itself but at the end of the day it�s the number of championships you have won that matters. Winning championships is what I want to do and what I hope to do here as well.�

Started in 2008, IPL proved to be a true game-changer not only for the cricketers but also acted as a catalyst for the T20 boom across the sporting world.

Regarding his take on how IPL has changed the game, he said: �It�s one of the biggest boons for our country as far as cricket and other avenues are concerned. IPL has had a positive impact not only on cricketers� lives but also people surrounding cricket as well. Other sports as well have been able to take a leaf out of the book of IPL and start their own leagues.�

The 34-year-old who made his debut way back in 2006, was also a member of the inaugural T20 World Cup winning squad.

�It�s obviously one of the best memories in my life. It was a time when T20 cricket was at a very nascent stage in world cricket. We were underdogs and no one tagged us as favourites at that time.

�But to come as underdogs and to go on to win that tournament was massive for us and for our country. It�s something which I can tell my grandkids about,� he concluded.

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Excited to see Guwahati debut as IPL venue: Uthappa

GUWAHATI, Feb 28 - With Guwahati all set to host Indian Premier League (IPL) matches, Robin Uthappa � who has been roped in by the Rajasthan Royals (RR) for this season � is all excited to be a part of this new beginning.

The Assam Cricket Association (ACA) Stadium in Barsapara here will host two home games of Rajasthan Royals in the upcoming IPL. The former champions will play Delhi Capitals and Kolkata Knight Riders on April 5 and April 9 respectively.

In an interview with The Assam Tribune, the former India batsman spoke on a number of aspects regarding the IPL as well as his journey so far.

Asked regarding the infrastructure at the ACA Stadium, the 2007 T20 World Cup-winning player said: �I have played a Ranji Trophy game here in 2015, so for me it�s the second time at this ground. I am happy to be here, it�s a great venue. I also think that cricket should spread to all parts of the country. People in the East outside Kolkata deserve to have some cricket as well.

�I am very happy that the IPL has come here and we are able to play two of our home games here. I am certain we will do well here and make sure that everyone enjoys cricket.�

The Steve Smith-led side starts its campaign with the match against Chennai Super Kings on April 2. A seasoned campaigner, Uthappa, who was earlier released by Kolkata Knight Riders was roped in by RR for Rs 3 crore, twice his base price.

�RR has always been a formidable side whenever I have played against them. I am very happy to be a part of this family. It�s a very strong unit. I have really enjoyed whatever I have experienced so far.�

Uthappa has played 177 matches in all the editions of the IPL in which he has scored 4411 runs at a strike rate of 130.50, including 24 fifties.

Regarding his IPL experience, Uthappa said: �It�s been a very good one for me with reasonable amount of success. Obviously I want to do well, win more championships and that�s the goal. Numbers will speak for itself but at the end of the day it�s the number of championships you have won that matters. Winning championships is what I want to do and what I hope to do here as well.�

Started in 2008, IPL proved to be a true game-changer not only for the cricketers but also acted as a catalyst for the T20 boom across the sporting world.

Regarding his take on how IPL has changed the game, he said: �It�s one of the biggest boons for our country as far as cricket and other avenues are concerned. IPL has had a positive impact not only on cricketers� lives but also people surrounding cricket as well. Other sports as well have been able to take a leaf out of the book of IPL and start their own leagues.�

The 34-year-old who made his debut way back in 2006, was also a member of the inaugural T20 World Cup winning squad.

�It�s obviously one of the best memories in my life. It was a time when T20 cricket was at a very nascent stage in world cricket. We were underdogs and no one tagged us as favourites at that time.

�But to come as underdogs and to go on to win that tournament was massive for us and for our country. It�s something which I can tell my grandkids about,� he concluded.

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