The ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 final was played between India and Sri Lanka at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, India on April 2, 2011. With Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni hitting a towering six in the penultimate over India won the final by six wickets. The sweet victory came after 28 long years, giving India its second title. The colors of celebrations that started immediately had the hues of unity all over.
Millions of Indian cricket fans prepared for that big occasion-at homes, offices, playgrounds, streets, restaurants and cinema houses. A local holiday was declared for Mumbai. People congregated at all possible public places with big screens showing the live match and cheered the home team on at every moment. Nameless, faceless crowds identified by just one thread, one religion and one language called cricket.
The Indian Republic has 28 states and seven union territories with most of them uniquely differentiated by culture, ethnicity, language and religion. But when it comes to cricket and Team India, they all become one unified whole. Indian. television news channels were showing scenes of celebrations from all major cities and towns across the country and everywhere you seemed to see the same charged people, the same colors and the same language.
The final had many twists and turnarounds. Sri Lankan batsmen were under a lot of pressure for most part of their innings. The Indians cheered Team India for exceptional fielding and bowling. When Sri Lanka ran amuck in the last five overs reaching a challenging total—almost match-winning for Sri Lankan bowling standards—the Indians were a little disheartened, but never lost hope in their team and religion.
Chasing 275 for victory, India lost the dazzling opener, as Sehwag in just the second ball of the innings and then Sachin Tendulkar—the living legend looking for his team’s win and his century of international centuries—fell too a little later. There was pin drop silence in the stadium, in the streets, in the playgrounds and across homes.