President Pratibha Patil on Sunday said watching the thrilling final of Cricket World Cup was a ‘mesmerising’ experience and lauded the ‘tenacity and hard work’ of the Men in Blue.

“Team India played with utmost patience, dexterity and displayed superb skills, both with bat and ball,” the President told PTI in an exclusive interview at Raj Bhawan here.

“Indian players showed their mettle and brought back a game which could have gone out of hand,” said Ms. Patil, who watched the grand finale of the cricket extravaganza at Wankhede Stadium here with Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

The President said the encounter between India and Sri Lanka, which the hosts won by six wickets last night, was “one of the most thrilling sports events” and she enjoyed “every bit” of the match.

There was a swing of emotions, from tension to relief, during the scintillating final which saw the hard work and dedication of Indian players being rewarded, she said.

“Our players won a deserving victory,” Ms. Patil said, lauding the M. S. Dhoni-led team. “The billion plus Indians are proud of their performance,” she added.

The President has invited the Indian cricket team for tea at Raj Bhawan on Sunday, in the first official engagement for team India, an official spokesperson said on Saturday.

Keywords: World Cup 2011

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