Chak de India!!!

And the winners of the 2011 ICC World Cup are…India!

As much as I can’t stand the venality and arrogance of the BCCI, I was thrilled that India won, though I have to say I thought they were going to choke at the final hurdle. Why did I want them to win? Two words.

Sachin Tendulkar.

After more than twenty years of service to the game, being a role model on and off the field and winning and losing with equal humility, there was only one last honour that had eluded him, a World Cup winner’s medallion. I can’t think of anyone more deserving, and it would have warmed the heart of any true cricket fan regardless of allegiance to see how much it meant to him. There aren’t often fairy tales in professional sport, but there was a happy ending last night.

I was very impressed with Kumar Sangakkara, too. He is always very articulate, and he was extremely gracious in the face of what must have been a bitter defeat. Between him and Tendulkar, there are lots of role models worth emulating in world cricket, hopefully the IPL generation will take heed.

Speaking of which, I think the best line came from Virat Kohli, and I think it is worth finishing with.

This goes out to all the people of India. This is my first World Cup; I can’t ask for more. Tendulkar has carried the burden of nation for 21 years; It was time we carried him. Chak de India!

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