New Delhi [India], April 2 (ANI): Former India opener and 2011 World Cup winning-side member Gautam Gambhir on Friday revealed that it was back during the 1992 World Cup that he decided to make the country proud by winning the title one day.
Speaking to ANI, Gambhir said that his first memory of the World Cup was the 1992 edition in Australia and New Zealand and India’s poor run in the tournament saw him in tears. What followed was tears and humiliation from friends and cousins. This is when he decided that he would win the title for India one day.
"I was born in 1981 and my first big memory of the World Cup was 1992. It was the first World Cup in coloured clothing and with the white ball. India crashed out of that tournament and I cried buckets when the campaign ended. My cousins and some friends made fun of me which as a kid hurt me badly. That is when I decided that I will win the World Cup for India one day,” he revealed.
But the path to the title wasn’t rosy as Gambhir hadn’t played in the showpiece event till the 2011 edition and he says that sometimes he would feel that he wouldn’t ever get an opportunity to play for the country in the World Cup. But his first ticket to the showpiece event came in 2011 and the rest as they say is history.
“Till 2011, I had not played a 50-over World Cup and sometimes I felt that I may not be able to realise my dream. But then God has ways of presenting opportunities. I am glad that April 2, 2011 happened in our lives as on that day every Indian won the World Cup," he said.
At the age of 29, the southpaw was able to live his dream as he played a crucial part in the 2011 World Cup final. His gritty 97-run knock and his 109-run partnership with skipper MS Dhoni (unbeaten on 91) saw India chase down Sri Lanka’s total after losing Virender Sehwag (0) and Sachin Tendulkar (18) early.
While Gambhir was dismissed by Thisara Perera just three runs short of a well-deserved century, Dhoni showed nerves of steel to take the team home. His historic six off Nuwan Kulasekara not only gave millions of Indians a memory worth revisiting throughout their lives, but also fulfilled the long-cherished dream of batting legend Sachin Tendulkar to add a World Cup trophy to his illustrious cabinet.
India had won its first World Cup under Kapil Dev's leadership in 1983 and they were not able to lay their hands on the coveted trophy until 2011. Under Dhoni's captaincy, India lost just one match in the showpiece event against South Africa. India defeated arch-rivals Pakistan in the semi-final to set up a blockbuster finale with Sri Lanka.
In the final, the Wankhede looked like a sea of blue with Indian fans filling up each and every seat of the iconic stadium. The rest of the Indians were glued to their TV screens to witness the mega clash. Sri Lanka, under Kumar Sangakkara, looked on course to win their second World Cup title after giving India a stiff target of 275. Mahela Jayawardene played a splendid knock, scoring a brilliant century off just 88 balls.
During the chase, fans were left emotionally battered after Lasith Malinga dismissed Sehwag and Tendulkar, leaving India in a spot of bother as their scorecard read 31/2 in the sixth over. However, Gambhir and Dhoni’s heroics saw the Men in Blue lift the World Cup trophy after 28 years. (ANI)