New Delhi: India
erupted in joyous celebrations as M.S. Dhoni and his men beat Sri
Lanka to win the cricket World Cup after 28 years. Fireworks lit up
the night sky and people broke into impromptu street dance after
Dhoni hit a marvellous six to clinch India's biggest cricketing win.
India, which had come to a virtual standstill Saturday, burst into a
carnival to celebrate the victory. Packed pubs, restaurants and
multiplexes across the country, where giant screens were put up,
broke decibel records as the crowds cheered and shouted loudly.
Firecrackers were burst in cities across India, and people in
hundreds of thousands trooped out on the streets, hugged total
strangers and distributed sweets to celebrate the return of the
The capacity crowd of 33,000 at Wankhede stadium in Mumbai cheered
wildly and waved the Indian tricolour at the win and broke into
rapturous applause when Dhoni received the glittering gold and
silver World Cup trophy.
From small towns, to villages to big metros, Team India's win
Young men and women rode motorbikes and cars in cities and honked
car horns to celebrate. Thousands gathered at city centres and near
major landmarks, like India Gate in Delhi, kick-starting a party
which will probably go on for days.
In a cricket crazy country, it doesn't get bigger than winning the
Thousands of youth, who were not even born when India last won the
World Cup in 1983 celebrated like there is no tomorrow.
In Kolkata, youths straddling speeding motorbikes screamed "Chak De!
India", wildly waved the national flag.
The country heaved a collective sigh of joyous relief as it became
clear that the Cup is here to stay for the next four years.
Hundreds of millions stayed glued to their TVs, transistor sets and
mobile phones, from 2.30 p.m. as the match began, cheering every
run, every boundary and every slip by the Sri Lankans.
"I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. Sri Lankans are such a
strong and unpredictable team. I must confess, I had lost all hope
when Tendulkar and Sehwag went out in quick succession. But now it's
such a relief I don't think I'll be able to sleep at night due to
the excitement," Vikas Raghuvanshi, an engineer with a Noida firm
As the Indian team's fortunes swung wildly at moments, like during
just-missed run outs, missed catches and close LBWs overturned,
people turned to superstition and prayers.
"The minute I returned from the toilet, I found Sehwag was out. I
decided to sit still and not go to the toilet till the end of the
match," said a relieved Srikant, a college student.
But all's well that ends well.
"There is god, I firmly believe now. Thank you Dhoni, I love you,
muaah," said a delighted Bhavna Sharma, a young advertising
executive in Chandigarh.
An ecstatic Dattaram Kossambe, from suburban Borivli in Mumbai,
said, "I am euphoric. We won, we won, we won. I can't express the
The streets and roads suddenly turned into instant party zones as
people poured out of their houses to celebrate the country's biggest
cricketing win in years.
In Chandigarh, people danced to the beats of dhol and Bollywood
numbers. In Hyderabad, the euphoria was similar, with people dancing
with gay abandon.
"Thank god it is Sunday tomorrow, the party is not going to stop,"
screamed a youngster waving the Indian tricolour in India Gate.
This party has, well, just started.