The bigger picture: Aftermaths of a glorious night
New Delhi: On Saturday night, the country erupted into unprecedented celebrations after Mahendra Singh Dhoni`s team won against Sri Lanka in the nail-biting title clash.
It was a dream come true for the Indian Team and the billion followers, a feat achieved after a long wait of 28 years. Emotional and poignant scenes unfolded at the Wankhede Stadium and outside it, in fact across the country.
The team was felicitated by President Pratibha Patil at Raj Bhavan on Sunday and wishes from all quarters poured in. All hailed the new champs.
Brand value to new heights
The historic feat will take the Team India to new heights in endorsement market. Dhoni`s men are set to stamp their authority in the market with their brand equity set to touch to new highs.
While the historic win will push captain Dhoni to a new trajectory in the branding business, others like Yuvraj Singh will also see a rejuvenation, while even youngsters such as Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina are tipped to benefit immensely. As for the master blaster Sachin Tendulkar, the win will re-enforce his already strong brand equity.
According to experts, the endorsement fee charged by players will definitely increase by about 20 per cent or so, but the number of brands currently being endorsed by each cricketer will increase.
Also, the current situation will help new players to create their brand value in the market.
It’s raining money
Winning the World Cup 2011 means crores of money for the Indian team members. This is apart from the residential plots and Railways’ AC complimentary lifetime passes on offer.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) took the lead announcing a Rs. one crore award for each player and several state governments followed suit. Some states did not announce any cash reward but said the cricketers will be honoured with respective state awards.
Coach Gary Kirsten and other support staff will get Rs. 50 lakh each as reward for their contribution, while the selectors will be given Rs. 25 lakh each, BCCI President Shashank Manohar said on Sunday.
Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit announced a award of Rs. two crore for Captain M S Dhoni and Rs. one crore each for four Delhi players after their historic victory.
When it comes to prize money, out of the total Rs 46 lakh (calculated according to current exchange rate), Kapil Dev’s team pocketed Rs 14 lakh in 1983. On Saturday, MS Dhoni’s team got a cheque 60 times larger, of about Rs 8.5 crore ($1.9 million). The tournament’s total prize money was Rs 27 crore ($6 million).
Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chauhan announced award of Rs. one crore each for Sachin Tendulkar and Zaheer Khan, who hail from the state. Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal said Harbhajan Singh and Yuvraj Singh will be given a cash award of Rs. one crore.
Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa announced his government would honour the victorious cricket players with a residential plot each from the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA). Uttarakhand Chief Minister Ramesh Pokhrayal Nishank promised a residential plot or a house in Mussoorie hill station for Dhoni and Sachin Tendulkar, who has been a regular visitor there with his family.
He also announced that a stadium will be built in the state to be named after Dhoni.
Benefit to other sports in the country
Indian football captain Bhaichung Bhutia hoped that other sports too are benefited from this inspirational victory while congratulating Dhoni`s army for their World Cup triumph.
"Cricket is doing very well at the moment. I hope the achievement inspires many youngsters and for a more sport-oriented India. It will unite the entire India. Hope this will inspire us to become a better sports oriented nation."
"It`s a great victory for Team India and for all Indians. It`s really a great moment. The best thing was how Dhoni led the side to victory. It was wonderful to see his great leadership quality."
India`s lone individual Olympic gold medal winner, Abhinav Bindra congratulated Team India, saying, "My heartiest congratulations to the Indian cricket team. A moment of pride for all of us."
Brains behind the team’s success
Four years ago, the team was in ruins after crashing out in the first round of the World Cup in the Caribbean, with fans baying for the cricketers` blood. But the transition in the next four-year cycle has been outstanding, the picture completed with the six-wicket victory at the Wankhede Stadium, when Dhoni anchored the run chase with his knock of 91.
The three characters who stand out for India in the transformation of the team`s approach are Dhoni, low-profile coach Gary Kirsten and the indefatigable Sachin Tendulkar.
If Dhoni has marshaled his resources well, Kirsten has been the facilitator of systems and Tendulkar the biggest inspiration for younger players. These three have transformed the team into a powerful unit that has done well in different conditions around the world and also come back from the brink to achieve impressive victories.
The Indian team, already enjoying top ranking in Test cricket, is now also atop the one-day table. In the past few years, India has come back undefeated from Test tours of Australia and South Africa, won a Test series in New Zealand as well as one-day series in Australia and Sri Lanka, all considered difficult feats for any team. But the one event that triggered the cycle was the Twenty20 World Championship victory in South Africa four years ago, which offset the despair of the 2007 World Cup and refreshed the side.
Dhoni gave the first glimpse of his charismatic qualities as a leader of a young team and slowly took over as captain of one-dayers and Test matches too.
Power shift in the sport
The cricket world is set to witness a new dominant force in international cricket, Aussie-style dominance, in the coming years. The shift in power was there to be seen in the way Mahendra Singh Dhoni`s men outplayed the 2007 champions Australia in the World Cup quarterfinals.
It was complete when they outplayed the Sri Lankans in the final. In the new world order, however, the team with the most depth was not the four-time champion from Australia but the emerging on-and off-field power of India.