Bhangra, drumbeats and crackers - India celebrates cricket winMarch 5th, 2008 - 12:46 am ICT by admin
New Delhi, March 4 (IANS) From Harbhajan Singh’s home city Jalandhar or captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s Ranchi to man of the match Praveen Kumar’s neighbourhood in Meerut, thousands of cricket fans danced to drumbeats and burst crackers as a cricket-crazy nation celebrated India’s historic win against Australia in the Commonwealth Bank tri-series tournament. Celebrations were on in full swing in Jalandhar as people burst crackers and danced the ‘bhangra’ to the beat of drums after the Indian team’s emphatic nine-run victory.
Harbhajan - popularly called Bhajji - was the centre of attraction during the tour over allegations of racism and on- and off-field controversies between India and Australia during the series.
Defending her son, Harbhajan’s mother Avtar Kaur said the Australians feared his bowling and raked up one controversy after another to put pressure on him.
“They tried to create mental pressure on him and the Indian team through these controversies, but failed. He has come out clean,” Kaur said.
Harbhajan’s friends and hundreds of people gathered outside his house, danced and distributed sweets.
“This victory is a slap on the face of the arrogant Australians. They tried every trick - even pushing down Sachin Tendulkar without being sorry for it - to get victory but failed … They have been taught a good lesson by India,” said Mohit Abrol, a cricket fan, savouring sweets outside the spinner’s home.
In Dhoni’s hometown Ranchi, it was as though Holi - the festival of colours - and Diwali - festival of lights - had combined to make for a mammoth and colourful celebration.
Fans gathered around his house in Mecon colony and danced to drum beats and smeared red, pink and green ‘abir’ (powder) on one another’s faces. Firecrackers were burst in several parts of the city.
“It was the capable leadership of captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni that ensured victory against Australia,” said Mohan, a true Dhoni fan.
Tribal people, who have little interest in the game, had prayed to their gods for victory of the Indian team.
Meanwhile Meerut in Uttar Pradesh was busy celebrating Praveen’s new stardom.
Praveen, adjudged man of the match for the second time in the series, emerged as the new star of cricket-mad India. And in Meerut, all roads led to Praveen’s house.
Holi festivities began early for the family of Praveen, who single-handedly knocked off the famed Australian top-order at the Gabba.
“We are really happy with what he has achieved. It was Holi for us today,” Praveen’s mother Murti Devi told IANS.
“We are just waiting for him to arrive and then we will have more celebrations,” she said.
The 21-year-old’s family had a tough time controlling the crowd that had come to share their joy along with the family.
“We were flooded with people. All the neighbours came to our place and watched the match at our home. We are a joint family and we switched all the four television set,” she said.
It was a double whammy for Bangaloreans, as they not only rejoiced India’s win in Sydney but also welcomed the victorious junior team, returning with Under-19 World Cricket Cup.
While hundreds of fans gathered at the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) airport to greet the colts, crackers were burst at several places to hail the senior’s historic win in Australia.
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