Indian players party through the night after CT triumph
Birmingham: Indian players let their hair down after Champions Trophy triumph as the young brigade partied through the Sunday till wee hours of Monday morning.
Champagne overflowed and the players danced to the latest Hindi and Punjabi pop numbers sooner than they returned to their hotel on Birmingham`s upmarket Broad Street late in the evening.
The final, reduced to just 20 overs a side, had started six hours late after rain ruined most of the day game.
Several fans followed the team bus to catch a glimpse of the star players as security guards kept them at safe distance.
Sources said the organisers were worried after British Tamils had protested during the India versus Sri Lanka match in Cardiff last week.
The Indian team management lifted its "curfew" hours and let the players enjoy themselves to their fullest. Virat Kohli led the celebrations as the rest of India`s young brigade joined in. The party went on till the wee hours of Monday.
Team manager Ranjib Biswal said:"We let the boys have some fun. We had generally kept ourselves away from public eye and concentrated on the cricket, but Sunday night belonged to the boys. They won a terrific final and deserved to let their hair down."
The Indian team will be travelling to the West Indies on Wednesday for the tri-series.
"There is no time pressure on the boys now. They will relax till they go to London to catch their flight," said Biswal.
The absence of senior players in the squad, skipper Mahendra Singh is the senior-most at 31, let the young players have some "extra fun".
"But no girlfriends were allowed," a team source informed.
Biswal said the young Indian players loved to party.
"This victory was quite special after India lost the Test and ODI series against England in 2011. There was a lot of hurt and the boys didn`t forget that," he said.
Dhoni, who became the only Indian captain to win a 50-over World Cup, T20 World Cup and the Champions Trophy, said there was a bit of similarity between Sunday?s five-run win and the 2007 T20 World Cup.
"I feel the first Twenty20 World Cup in 2007 that we won and this tournament, there is a bit of similarity. There were quite a number of players who were making their comebacks into the team in 2007, so they wanted to do well desperately?in this team too, there are a few who wanted to do well and cement their position in the side," said Dhoni.
The skipper added:"The 2011 World Cup I think it was the right mix. We had very experienced players and some of them felt it could be their last World Cup because of age and everything.
"Since it was happening in India, we all wanted to do well because the expectation was too much. We just wanted to express ourselves. I think there are huge similarities between 2007 and this team"?
One player who definitely sealed his position is Shikhar Dhawan. The left-handed opener was adjudged the Player of the Tournament for showing tremendous consistency with the bat. He ended the tournament with 363 runs from five matches, including two centuries and one half-century.
He averaged a staggering 90.75 with the bat at a stunning strike-rate of 101.39.
"God has blessed me. This award is more special because I had waited for this opportunity. I was sad that I wasn’t getting a chance but never doubted my abilities," Dhawan said.
Dhawan`s moustache was a `style statement` of the tournament. Several Indian fans, including two-year-old kids, dressed up with colourful moustaches. Dhawan said he "loved" his style and called moustaches "an Indian thing".
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