PM speaks to Dhoni, says country proud of his leadership

New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday spoke to cricket captain MS Dhoni and congratulated him on the Indian team's World Cup triumph, calling the victory brilliant.

The prime minister told Dhoni that the country was proud of the cricket team and also of his leadership, a PMO official said tonight.

In his congratulatory messsage to the Indian team shortly after its victory last night, Prime Minister Singh had said, "the hard work and the effort of MS Dhoni and his men have been rewarded".

"I join the nation in congratulating the Indian cricket team on their victory. The hard work and the effort of MS Dhoni and his men have been rewarded. They have shown the world that India is at the top of the game of cricket", Singh said soon after watching the Indian skipper hitting the winning stroke with a huge six.

The Prime Minister, who watched the final on TV from 6pm on returning to Delhi after electioneering in Assam, said the Indian cricketers "have demonstrated great team spirit all the concentration and the skill needed to win this well-deserved World Cup".

"The Indian team has made India proud", Singh said.

On the eve of the Saturday final against Sri Lanka in Mumbai, Prime Minister Singh had sent in his best wishes to the Indian team, hoping it will emerge victorious.

"Keep it up is all I would say. I hope India wins," Singh said when asked about his message to the Indian cricket team.

Singh, who watched the blockbuster India-Pakistan semi-final clash in Mohali along with his Pakistani counterpart Yusuf Raza Gilani, had said he will not travel to Mumbai to watch the final as he will be in Assam for poll campaign.

"The whole nation joins in wishing the Indian cricket team," he said, adding that he would be watching the game as and when he gets time.