New Delhi : Former India cricketer-turned-commentator Sunil Gavaskar, Harbhajan Singh, and Piyush Chawla on Thursday shared their experience of the famous 2011 ODI World Cup Final win when India defeated Sri Lanka by 6 wickets in Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai to win their second World Cup title.
After the famous 1983 World Cup, it was the 2011 World Cup when the Dhoni-led Indian team lifted the World Cup on home soil after 28 years and the joy was quite vivid all over the country.
Sunil Gavaskar, who was in the commentary box, jumped with tears in his eyes witnessing the historic moment.
“I was so happy at that moment, we were jumping and shouting with joy in the commentary box, and later when the presentation was done, I went on the field to see the Indian team celebrating, and I smeared the soil off the pitch on my forehead based on our cultural heritage. The pitch, the soil brought us the World Cup once again after 28 years,” Sunil Gavaskar to Star Sports.
India restricted Sri Lanka to 274/6 and chased the target with 10 balls left. For India Gautam Gambhir and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni played the match-winning knock adding 109 runs for the fourth wicket partnership. Earlier in the match Zaheer Khan and Player of the Tournament Yuvraj Singh claimed two wickets each.
Harbhajan Singh bowled out Tilakratne Dilshan from round the wicket when the team was struggling to get control of the run-flow.
Harbhajan remembers the last-ball six by Dhoni off Kulasekara and says, “I still remember the moment, we ran and hugged Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh. When I lifted Dhoni, his eyes were a little moist.
“We couldn’t stop the tears after looking at each other. It usually doesn’t happen, but when there are moments like these, neither are you able to express happiness properly nor can you stop the tears. Even today, when I think of that moment, I feel grateful to God for making me capable enough to experience that moment,” he added.
Former India cricketer Piyush Chawla, who didn’t play in the final, was sitting on the stairs with R. Ashwin and discussing the plans to win the match. Chawla says he will never forget the excitement of winning the title.
“I was not even allowed to go into the dressing room (during the chase). Ashwin and I were sitting on the stairs. So, I didn’t know what was going on in the dressing room. Ashwin and I were discussing how we are now getting closer to the target, and then when MS Dhoni had a successful partnership and Gautam Gambhir batted brilliantly, we thought of how we were winning the World Cup, and being part of the team was a dream come true.
“To experience that moment so closely is a different kind of excitement altogether. As Harbhajan Singh mentioned, we raced to the field following the game, acting as though we were in a race against one other. At that moment, we were happy and laughing, but we were crying too, it was a mixed emotion. It was fabulous,” he added.