India ODI captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni reveals his emotional outburst on the night of April 2, 2011
India ODI skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni rarely exhibits his emotions even when under pressure. But even he was moved to tears after his team won the 2011 ICC World Cup in Mumbai four years ago.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni
In The Cricket Fanatic's Essential Guide, authored by Vimal Kumar and published by Hachette India, Dhoni revealed how his emotions got the better of him on the night of April 2 after India beat Sri Lanka in a tense finale.
"In the dressing room, everyone was crying. And everybody means everybody — all the 15 players, the support staff and everyone else associated with the team. In that sense, we really connected in the World Cup," said Dhoni in the book. The India captain also spoke of the immense pressure the team faced as the tournament progressed.
Under huge pressure
"The pressure kept mounting on us as people's expectations were increasing with every win. They thought the quarter-final against Australia was the biggest game. And once we won that, there was an even bigger game against Pakistan in the semi-final.
April 2, 2011: Team India with World Cup after beating Sri Lanka in the final at Wankhede. Pic/AFP
You know what happens with India-Pakistan games in the World Cup… people will keep telling you that this is the real final. And then, when we won that, we were aware of what was now expected from us. As much as we tried to divert the issue, the pressure we went through was a lot.
Could not eat foot
"At times, there would be food before the players and they wouldn't feel like eating it, due to anxiety." Justifying his and the team's emotional outburst, Dhoni said it simply showed their passion to win the Cup.
"We Indians are emotional people and the emotion was released after we won the Cup. It also shows how much it meant to us. People talk about money flowing into cricket and everything, and you think that you will never see India players crying because they have a big contract. But we all were so passionate about winning the
trophy. Money can never bring the immense joy of being part of a World Cup-winning team.
'Never thought I'd cry'
"I never thought I would cry after a win, but we all did. The world can't see those emotions of the players because you don't have the footage of that, but it summed up the mood of that night," added Dhoni, who spoke to the author on different occasions over the last two years.