Paddy Upton, India's mental conditioning coach during their 2011 World Cup campaign will make a special telephone call to South Africa today -- to friend Gary Kirsten with whom he formed a terrific partnership which helped India to their second World Cup triumph exactly a year ago.
Gary Kirsten (centre) is hoisted by Suresh Raina and Virat Kohli
"We will both cherish the phone call. I miss him terribly," Upton told MiD DAY yesterday. The South African is now attached to the Pune Warriors who will kick off their Indian Premier League campaign with a game against Mumbai Indians on April 6. Upton stressed that the journey to India's World Cup triumph started a good 13 months before April 2, 2011.
"The script was very clear. There were no grey areas in it. We worked hard � each and every one of us. Out first aim was to reach the final. And once we achieved that and we sat down for a team meeting before the final against Sri Lanka. 'Once you cross that rope, just think of doing your best.'
It turned out to be a fairytale script. Remember, we had already achieved an earlier goal of becoming the number one Test nation." The significance of Dhoni's six which became the most important big hit in the history of Indian cricket on the night of April 2, 2011 was not lost on the key member of the team's support staff.
"My body was lifted by a special feeling of victory. After that, I was just numb and as we celebrated on the ground, I began to feel a sense of emptiness. Both Gary and me asked ourselves, 'what now' since we were leaving after the final. We had done our duty; our jobs were completed.
I spoke to a lot of accomplished people in South Africa about this feeling of emptiness and they all agreed that after experiences a great high/success, you feel empty. Undoubtedly, winning the World Cup was one of the best moments of my life," said Upton.