Anis Sajan speaks with Ness Wadia Video Credit: Supplied

It was a delight meeting Punjab Kings co-owner Ness Wadia, a man who doesn’t need any introductions. We connected instantly over our common love for the game of cricket.

He mentioned that he was more excited than ever ahead of the 15th season of the Indian Premier League, as Punjab have a new team and a new captain and — most importantly — the matches are being played back in India, after the uae stepped in to help out during the Covid-19 pandemic last year.

Despite the tournament coming back ‘home’, the matches are held in the western region, I asked Wadia how are Punjab managing their crowd support, and he was quick to say that IPL in general has a lot of backing from the people, but what is important that the matches are being played in a safe and secure environment, as they want to avoid any possible interruptions like last season.

Talking about Punjab’s highest purchase this season, Liam Livingstone, Ness said that he is a good all-rounder, but we have yet to see him performing to the fullest. He feels that they have a well-balanced squad with Livingstone, Odean Smith and the rest of the team they have assembled.

We then spoke about his recent appeal to BCCI and Jay Shah to play the national anthem of India at the start of all the IPL matches. He couldn’t contain his happiness when it was approved by the board and said his chest swells up and he gets teary eyed every time the anthem is played.

Since we had the chat during the match, I couldn’t help but ask him about what he thought of the 206-run target set by Royal Challengers Bangalore. All he said was that it was a batting pitch and the batters should have fun and I believe that is what they did and led the team to a great victory.

We ended the conversation by talking about Faf du Plessis’ innings (88) which Ness said was pretty decent and that though he was dropped unfortunately it’s all right and the team will remedy their batting.

As my son Sahil mentioned at the beginning of the tournament that Punjab are the team to watch out for this season, we all look forward to their performance and wish them luck.