Delirious Indian media toasts Twenty20 triumph

Published: Tuesday, September 25, 2007, 16:09 [IST]
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New Delhi: An ecstatic media revelled Tuesday in India's surprise triumph in the first World Twenty20 Championship, predicting the start of a golden era for the cricket-crazed nation.

"We are the world", "Top of the world", "Superpower: India 2020" screamed the headlines on India's five-run win Monday night against Pakistan.

The Hindustan Times devoted its entire front page to a huge photo of the Indian players celebrating the historic victory in Johannesburg.

A blow-by-blow account followed on page after page interspersed with huge photos of the key moments of the thriller watched by millions of Indians on television.

"Pakistunned" said The Times of India, lavishing praise on the high-octaine brand of cricket played by new, one-day skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his young team.

"It was a fitting finale to a tournament that has been high on thrills, and a fitting triumph for a team that believed in itself when hardly anybody else did," the popular daily said.

Even the leading economic daily The Economic Times splashed the story on its front page and praised Dhoni and "Incredible India."

"Young India is playing with a straight bat ... young blood, young resilience and the young at heart never-say-die attitude," it gushed.

The Indian Express drew parallels from India's only World Cup victory in 1983.

"Like 24 years ago, no one expected India to win this trophy. This team has virtually done the impossible," it said.

Dhoni, in his first stint as Indian captain, took applause from veteran stars Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly.

"Dhoni led the team to a fabulous victory and I can say Indian cricket is in safe hands," Tendulkar told reporters.

"Dhoni is special. We needed a leader like Dhoni," said former skipper Ganguly.

The spoils of victory added up to a whopping seven million dollars for India, but broadcaster ESPN hit the real jackpot.

"ESPN-Star Sports which gambled with an astonishing 1.1 billion dollar bid last year to win the ICC rights for the next eight years, has earned Rs 200 crore (50 million dollars) from the Twenty20," said The Economic Times.

Read more about: pakistan, twenty20, world cup, media
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