Lavishing praise on the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led Indian team for winning the inaugural Twenty20 World Cup, batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar said Indian cricket was now in safe hands.
Tendulkar, along with ageing stalwarts Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid, had opted out of the Twenty20 event while Dhoni was named captain of a young side that went all the way to win the title beating arch-rivals Pakistan.
Tendulkar hailed Monday night's win as a complete team effort and singled out Dhoni for special praise. "It was a brilliant team effort and along with the players, the entire nation is celebrating. Dhoni led the team to a fabulous victory and I can say that Indian cricket is in safe hands," he said.
Another former captain, Sourav Ganguly, also heaped praise on Dhoni and said India had found an able leader in the star Jharkhand player.
"Dhoni is special. We needed a leader like Dhoni. It was a fantastic win and the team needed this kind of performance.
"The temperament the boys have shown under pressure is outstanding," Ganguly said from Kolkata.
India's 1983 World Cup winning captain Kapil Dev said with this win, Dhoni and his teammates had become part of Indian cricket lores.
"I can guess that they are now so overwhelmed in joy that it would take time before the feeling sinks in. When they come back, they would realise that they have become part of history," Kapil said.
"We won the World Cup in 1983 but still whenever World Cup takes place, people call us, remember us. The love and affection that await them would make them realise the magnitude of the achievement," he said.
"I remember meeting (former Prime Minister) Rajiv Gandhi, who told me that he was keen to know the score of a match involving India while he was flying and he finally went to the pilot, requesting him to update him," Kapil reminisced.
His World Cup teammate Madan Lal too felt that September 24 would go down in the history of Indian cricket.
"I had lot of hopes on this team and they delivered. It's an unforgettable moment not only for the players but also for all of us," he said.