Anurag Abinashi recounts his very own World Cup winning experience.
Having written prior to the World Cup final that India, it is time. I can safely say now that…
India, it was time.
I woke up last Saturday morning, completely sleep deprived. I hadn’t slept properly since the India-Pakistan semi-final. The adrenalin was still pumping. An India vs Sri Lanka World Cup Final. Not something I would have put my money on at the start of the tournament. Eight hours now stood between India and world cup glory once again. And I was nervous.
I got to the Oxford University Club with a group of friends just before the toss. The atmosphere was electric… 200+ Indian fans, flags, whistles… the works. Even as far away from Mumbai as Oxford, India had come prepared to party.
Sri Lanka batted first, and I was nervous. They put up a very defendable total, and I was nervous. I couldn’t eat. I was glued to the big screen. Losing two quick wickets did not help – first Sehwag, and then Sachin. Could it be? Was the fairytale ending not meant to be?
But then, I thought about it rationally. This wasn’t Sachin’s India. This was a new Indian team – one that scrapped and fought its way to a T20 World Cup win as a team. And when Dhoni promoted himself up the order, and bludgeoned a couple of balls early… I began to believe.
What followed was arguably the finest knock I’ve ever seen in a world cup final (Apologies, Mahela!) – and as every run went on the board, the crowd went wilder and wilder. When India finally won, it was mayhem. The 200 strong crowd, dhol (drummer) in tow, proceeded to dance through the streets of Oxford. Bystanders watched on. Some joined in. Some had no idea why we were celebrating, but joined in anyway. It was the street party to end street parties. We wound up in a bar (as these things often pan out). I got home at 3 am, and finally got a good night’s sleep.
I’m now suffering what I think is the cricket equivalent of post-natal depression. The emotions that went through me last Saturday are hard to describe… it was an exhausting week/day … and now I miss having the world cup on TV daily! I guess I’ll have to start watching the IPL more seriously… go Chennai!
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