Few days ago, a friend on mine asked me, “Which is your happiest moment of life?” My answer was “2007 T20 World Cup win”.
Back in 2003, I was only 12 and in India, it is a good enough age to understand all the nitty-gritties of cricket. After the disastrous start of campaign, it was an astonishing feat to even reach the finals. At the same time, it was very clear that India can’t move ahead further. Defeating the then Australian team was virtually not possible. I was in front of TV during the whole match, but couldn’t dare to watch the match beyond that 15 runs Zaheer Khan over. I could not see India being defeated, yet after every few minutes, I will change the channel to Set Max hoping for a miracle. It never happened. We lost, but it was that team lead by Saurav Ganguly who actually, for the first time. made us dream about the World Cup.
Four years had passed and it was time to fulfill the dream seen in 2003. The first round of world cup was clashing with the board exams. It wasn’t a big deal, because by the time, the Super 8s would have started, exams would have been over. It was our Science exam, but we were discussing the yesterday night’s India-Sri Lanka match. I was angry. I was heartbroken. I had never expected that the dream would end so early. Neither in my wildest thoughts I had imagined that I would actually be living the dreams in just few months time.
“Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the captain of team India and that too directly in such a big tournament, the first ever World T20 World Cup and without any senior player- is BCCI even serious about T20? But nevertheless, it will be good exposure for new players to participate in this tournament.” This is what I and most of us thought. That guy, who had long hairs, who was crazy about bikes and who was just a hitter, was he even responsible enough to lead the side? For us, India was only a participant in that tournament. The ball was in the air. I was almost into tears praying, ‘God, please not a six, not a six!’ Next moment, I saw Sreesanth completing the catch.
I was jumping on the floors, dancing on the bed, screaming in balcony! I had no idea how to express my joy. Mahendra Singh Dhoni, in his first tournament as captain had won India a World Cup. He accepts the trophy, hand it over to the team and moves aside, letting others enjoy the glory. He was unruffled by his enormous achievement. I was still jumping in front of my television set.