Mumbai: "I was in a state of shock," Gary Kirsten said as he described his emotions to Ratnakar Shetty, the World Cup tournament director, who also happens to be the BCCI's chief administrative officer, less than 24 hours after India had become world champions. Both men stood on the lawns of the Raj Bhavan, residence of the Governor of Maharasthra, whose capital city is Mumbai. If you were expecting to see bleary-eyed men sleep walking you would have been disappointed. The entire India squad, along with the support staff, had turned up to meet the president of India Pratibha Patil. Wearing the smart green and white-collared team T-shirts, every man looked fresh and relaxed.
Not that there were no celebrations after the World Cup triumph. As Yuvraj Singh had assured last evening, he would make sure it would be an unforgettable night. "I did not sleep," he said, wearing a pair of much-needed sunglasses. Paddy Upton was briefer. "Hungover," he said when asked about the feeling after the biggest day in his life. Harbhajan Singh concurred with Upton and added "was up till 8am". Munaf Patel had probably slept the most. "I don't drink. I don't party," he said with his open smile.
MS Dhoni, wearing a new look, having shaved his head (purported reasons varied from "spontaneity" to "religious") was kept busy by the various bigwigs, which included a mixture of politicians, industrialists and administrators. Sharad Pawar, the ICC president, attended the function along with chief executive Haroon Lorgat. The function was also attended by chiefs of other foreign boards: James Sutherland (Australia), Giles Clarke (England), Ernest Hilaire (West Indies) and few members from the Associates and the Affiliates.