Can you hear me cry?
I have been crying since I saw our captain Dhoni score the winning six last night.
I have been crying even more since I saw Harbhajan and other members of the team crying after the victory.
Till the moment of victory, they were men of steel, men of determination.
Once the moment of victory came, they became like you and me and like millions of others in the country.
They cried, they wept, they sobbed like children.
How many of us saw Harbhajan being interviewed by a journalist who asked him how it felt like in the moments of victory.
“Great”, he said, “but it is not just our victory. It is the victory of all those people in the stands. It is the victory of all the people across India. It is India’s victory.”
Could you sense my feelings of jealousy, my feelings of envy in the morning as I saw all of you lined up and singing the National Anthem.
Millions of people across India shed tears of pride and wished enviously they were there with you singing the National Anthem and playing for India instead of sitting before their TV sets and computers.
You made us all Team India—- whatever be our religion, our language, our age.
You were the privileged eleven, but you made us part of you.
Team India did not have just 11 players. It had over a billion. You made us all play with you. You made us all achieve greatness. You made us all climb to victory with you in the lead.
You made India shine last night. Like it has never shone before. You made us all shine in every nook and corner of India. You gave us moments of glory, moments of pride.
The glory and pride were yours, but you shared them with us—-so readily, so generously, so humbly.
Team Sri Lanka!
How you fought! Every inch of the way, every ball!
Your country must be proud of you. So are we. After all, you are our cousins of history. Our own flesh and blood.
You too. Our cousins of history, our flesh and blood.
You might have lost a hard- fought match. But, you and Team India jointly won the battle for the hearts of millions of people in the sub-continent.
Afridi became a household name in India—a name every Indian, young or old, knows and loves. He is our Afridi. Not just yours.
What mixed feelings at the end of the semi-final! Could you sense them?
Feelings of joy that we won it. And feelings of sadness that we had to win it against a brave team like yours.
Team India, Team Pakistan.
There is spring in the air across our two countries. You together brought that spring. I hope like millions of others we have the wisdom and foresight to preserve it.
Team India! Team Sri Lanka, Team Pakistan!
May God continue to be with us as He was throughout the series and make us better human beings by being better sportsmen.
(The writer Mr B Raman, is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai, and Associate, Chennai Centre For China Studies. E-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org )