As the Twenty 20 World Cup cricket began this month in South Africa, I was sceptical about the entire episode for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, for us Indians, this was a new format of the game and our team was composed of many freshers and not-so-regular players. Further, the game itself did not promise to live up to the expectations of a regular cricket buff (or should I say purist). The innovations were a plenty - apart from the basic difference of having 20 overs for each side, with 20 minute break between innings - there were novel concepts like free hits, bowl outs, players seated in dugouts and restrictions in fielding placements. There were side-attractions at the matches too, viz. cheerleaders, loud music, jacuzzis, carousels and beer vendors. A total of three venues were there - Johannesburg, Durban & Cape Town. The slam bang session began from September 11 and the final was scheduled on September 24.
When India started playing at the Twenty 20 World Cup matches, most of us had zero or minimal expectations. But the performances of our players at these matches has opened our eyes to the possibility of excelling as a team, the team spirit was palpable throughout the tournament. Under the able leadership of our young captain Mahinder Singh Dhoni, the cricketers tried to give their very best. The likes of Yuvraj Singh, Rudra Pratap Singh, Rohit P. Sharma, Irfan Pathan, Harbhajan Singh, Sreesanth and Robin Uthappa shone like superstars and made history with their magical performances. As the teams likes England, West Indies, Sri Lanka, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia left vanquished, the final match saw the battle of the sworn rivals of the game India and Pakistan. By this time, both the team had displayed their grit and determination to emerge victorious. All eyes focused on the final entertainment blockbuster - the final match, where the two teams from this sub-continent were to battle it out at the Wanderers stadium.
Never ever have I seen such frenzy, such excitement - though we are an out and out cricket crazy nation and will always remain so, come what may. The final match has made history for many reasons. Our winning the Twenty 20 World Cup proves that we can surely show tye world how brilliant we are, by simply refusing to stumble under pressure. For all cricket lovers and for all my Net-mates, here is a special moment to be treasured for eternity (descrbing the pic is inessential, just as I chose not to quote cricket statistics or to describe the final showdown in greater details, there are many more forums on the Net for the same).
Here's saluting the heroes:
Mahendra Singh Dhoni (Captain/Wicketkeeper)
Yuvraj Singh (Vice-Captain)
Rohit P. Sharma
Rudra Pratap Singh