Praise for India's cricket team poured in from all quarters after its World Cup triumph on Saturday.
President Pratibha Patil led the commendations, saying, “Dedication to the cause, the strength of character to stay the course and astute leadership have finally converted the potential of a talented group of youngsters, the experience of veterans and the hard work of the coach and his staff, into the reality of becoming world champions.”
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who attended India's semifinal against Pakistan in Mohali, said, “The hard work and the effort of M.S. Dhoni and his men have been rewarded. They have shown the world that India is at the top of the game of cricket.”
Sonia Gandhi, Congress president, said the victory will be “etched in gold for generations to come”.
Members of India's victorious side were unanimous in dedicating the triumph to the country and their teammate and hero, Sachin Tendulkar, who finally attained the coveted prize that had eluded him in five previous attempts.
Tendulkar acknowledged the moment, saying, “I couldn't have asked for anything more than this. Winning the World Cup is the proudest moment of my life. I couldn't control my tears of joy.”
Young Virat Kohli, who manfully carried Tendulkar on his lap of honour, said, “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 the nation for 21 years and it was time we carried him.”
“The victory lap was just incredible to watch. I had tears of joy just looking at Sachin's emotions. What a historic moment! I'm so lucky to be here and see it happen live in front of my eyes. Thank you Team India,” said Bollywood actor Vivek Oberoi.
“Congrats Team India! We did it! Great job bringing the cup back!” Tweeted actress Madhuri Dixit.
There was some commiseration for Sri Lanka too.
“Sri Lanka, you guys were great… to put up a total like that in the final and you played great the whole World Cup,” Indian tennis player Sania Mirza tweeted.