A proud moment for Indian cricket

Wednesday 03rd July 2024 06:58 EDT

India's agonising 11-year wait for a global title was brought to an end by Virat Kohli's ingenuity and Rohit Sharma's inspirational captaincy as the star-studded team outwitted South Africa by seven runs in a see-saw final to lift its second T20 World Cup trophy on Saturday last. India posted 176 for 7 in 20 overs after captain Rohit won the toss and opted to bat first at Kensington Oval, Barbados. In reply, South Africa were restricted to 169/8.

This group have endured the most painful defeats earlier. The World Test Championship mace was within touching distance but Australia snatched it away at the Oval. The ODI World Cup was a win away but Travis Head decided to have the day of his life in Ahmedabad on Nov 19, 2023. And it was very close to an encore of disappointment on Saturday as well before Heinrich Klaasen’s edge off Hardik Pandya started the South African choke. And when Suryakumar Yadav latched on to David Miller’s skier off the first ball of the 20th over to complete the greatest catch in Indian cricket history since Kapil Dev’s catch to dismiss Viv Richards in the 1983 World Cup final.

But this World Cup was not won in a day. Outgoing coach Rahul Dravid revealed how the planning had started long back. “It was way back in Sept 2021 that ideas started forming. We worked on it over the years, and here we are, on this beautiful Barbados afternoon,” Dravid said.

While it was a moment of redemption for a team, there are a few in the group for whom it meant a little more. Dravid had never won a World Cup as a player, and he described Saturday as “a memory of a lifetime” for him. Hardik had gone through incredible upheavals on personal and professional front. He seemed to have answered all those both with the bat and the ball.

And then, there’s a Virat. The greatest T20 batter ever for India was having a torrid time in this World Cup till it all turned around in the final. Many of them are exiting the Indian T20 set up. Coach Rahul Dravid had announced before the tournament that this would be his last stint. Virat Kohli said goodbye to the format at the prize distribution ceremony. When asked Rohit about his thoughts on his T20 career, the captain said: “This is the moment for me to leave this format. I hadn’t thought of it before, but the way things shaped up, this is the time to go. Later, India all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja also announced his retirement from T20 Internationals.

BCCI announces £12.5 mn bonanza

BCCI secretary Jay Shah announced a prize money of £12.5 mn for Team India. “I am pleased to announce a prize money of £12.5 mn for Team India for winning the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024. The team has showcased exceptional talent, determination, and sportsmanship throughout the tournament. Congratulations to all the players, coaches, and support staff for this outstanding achievement!” Shah posted on X.

Celebrations across UK

Team India's triumph in T20 World Cup ignited celebrations across India and the UK. The Indian diaspora joined in the jubilant festivities, marking the victory with unparalleled enthusiasm. India's win sparked celebrations in Queensbury, Harrow and Wembley. Fireworks and celebrations erupted in Harrow and Indians in Wembley took to the streets to celebrate the occasion with dhol music, fireworks, and an array of festive activities.

PM Modi congratulates Team India

Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to the Indian cricket team on the phone and congratulated its members on their T20 World Cup win against South Africa.
“Spoke to the Indian cricket team and congratulated them on their exemplary success at the T20 World Cup. They have shown excellent skill and spirit throughout the tournament. Each player’s commitment is very motivating,” PM Narendra Modi on X.
In a series of posts, Modi lauded outgoing head coach Rahul Dravid, captain Rohit Sharma and star batsman Virat Kohli for clinching the T20 World Cup. Modi said Rahul Dravid’s incredible coaching journey has shaped the success of Indian cricket.
During the phone call, Modi also praised Hardik Pandya for his final over and Suryakumar Yadav for his splendid catch. He also talked highly of Jaspreet Bumrah's contribution, officials said.

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