What a picture. I was a very young kid when India won in 1983, so I have no real memory of that moment when cricket became India’s national game. Ever since then, the dream to see it happen again was revisited every 4 years, and every 4 years there was just heartbreak. So when Dhoni hit that magnificent, timeless six to clinch the trophy, the screams of joy were mixed with an incredible sense of relief. The feeling of catharsis was indescribable. This home video capturing our ecstatic screams of victory will join the video I made when the Giants won the Superbowl as one of my most precious memories.
What’s even more amazing is the way India won the trophy. Dethroning the 3 time (12 years!) champions Australia, emerging victorious against Pakistan in the sub-continental Mahayudha, and then defeating the always dangerous Sri Lanka in a roller-coaster of a match – there can be no doubting this team. It was a complete team effort, with almost everyone having to step up and contribute to the run. On the cricket crazed subcontinent (as evidenced from this incredible collection of photographs), this was the only way to win that would stand up to any doubters.
The win was made all the more significant by the fact that it allowed the greatest cricketer of all time to finally get the championship he craved and so richly deserved. Sachin Tendulkar has carried the hopes and dreams of India cricket on his shoulders for two decades now. And after shattering every record there is, all that was missing was a World Cup title. When player after player on the Indian team said that they played this tournament for Sachin, you sensed just how much Sachin means to Indian cricket, and how much of a motivation winning it for him had become. No one deserves this more, and it was incredibly emotional to see him finally lift that trophy.
On a much more personal note, Tanu pointed out that Arav was with us in her womb when my beloved New York Giants shocked the Pats to win Superbowl XLII. Since then, I’ve seen Manchester United win the Champions League, the New York Yankees win the World Series, and now India win the World Cup. I have been incredibly lucky to watch every one of my teams rise to the top and win it all, and I am sure I have my lucky charm to thank for that (as if I needed more reasons to love the little bugger). And to have been able to share the joy of victory with friends was just an incredible bonus. What a feeling!
Tags: Cricket, ICC World Cup, ICC2011, India, Sports, Tendulkar, World Cup