Indians celebrate historic win

India erupted in joy today after India registered its first ever cricket Test win on Pakistan soil.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:06 IST
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New Delhi:The nation erupted into joy today after India registered its first ever cricket Test win on Pakistan soil with Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee leading the country in hailing the splendid win. Vajpayee sent a congratulatory message to the winning team as Irfan Pathan snared Yousuf Youhana on the fifth day of the Test match to end Pakistan's second innings at 216. Celebrations across the country Cricket fans were seen bursting crackers in several parts of the country and distributing sweets to celebrate the maiden triumph in Pakistan, which came after a long wait – almost five decades. In Kolkata, the hometown of Sourav Ganguly, fans and cricket lovers, waiting patiently since yesterday for the fall of the last Paksitan wicket, celebrated the win, waving the tri-colour and shouting slogans hailing the win. They wore masks of Indian cricketers and moved in processions starting from the neighbourhood of the Ganguly family at the Biren Roy Road in Behala to central and northern parts. There was, however, concern about the condition of the skipper, who is arriving here tonight for treatment of his lower back injury suffered during the fifth and final one-day international match in Lahore. In the capital, man of the match, Virender Sehwag's home at Najafgarh was thronged by neighbours who congratulated the family members for the success of the team as well the cricketer's historic triple century in the match. "It's a great news for us. India's win is special and more so since Veeru notched a triple century, which is not an easy thing to do," his mother Krishna said. In Vadodara, traffic came to a halt at several parts as people thronged the streets, burst crackers and waved the tricolour after local boy Irfan Pathan sent back the Pakistan vice-captain Yousuf Youhana. One-day specialist Mohammed Kaif's home-town was no exception as the residents celebrated the historic win. Former players congratulate Team India Congratulatory messages poured in from every corner of the country with cricket administrators, former players and fans, all choosing the occasion to wish the team for the historic win. "I congratulate Rahul Dravid and all the players for their fabulous show and all-round performance," Union Sports Minister Vikram Verma said. "Heartiest congratulations on creating history in Pakistan. You have achieved what no Indian cricket team has achieved in the past 50 years. We are proud of you," said Verma's deputy Vijay Goel. "India wants the Men in Blue to keep it up," Goel said. Lok Sabha Speaker Manohar Joshi conveyed his best wishes to the players and said the "the team won hearts of millions of people of the subcontinent and has made them really proud. Former players also joined the chorus in hailing India's win. "I'm ecstatic. This is an unbelievable victory," was the instant reaction of former Test opener Arun Lal, who was mesmerised at the team's high spirit and the will to win. "The team has shown rare spirit to go ahead and win above everything. Its a fine team effort, which has all the elements of good cricket," he said in Kolkata. National selector Pranab Roy was also pleased with the big win. "I'm extremely pleased at India's performance. I congratulate the whole team, but also want them to focus on maintaining the momentum to win the series." Former cricketer Mushtaq Ali also lavished praise on the team for the win. "Entire credit goes to the team for beating Pakistan on their home ground and also Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee for restoring cricketing ties with Pakistan, which resulted in today's historic win," Ali said in Indore. Former skipper Ajit Wadekar rated the team as the best ever to play on foreign soil. "According to me this is the best ever team to have gone abroad and the key to their success is that they are playing as a unit," Wadekar, who led the country to its first series win in the West Indies and England in the 70s, said in Mumbai. "Today being my birthday I would like to consider this win, as a birthday gift by the boys. They almost won the match yesterday itself but could't take the last wicket so I would like to think that they dragged it by a day so that it would be a birthday gift for me", Wadekar said in a lighter vein. Cricket Board chief Jagmohan Dalmiya termed the win as historic. "It is a historic win. The boys displayed a superb match temperament to win their first Test in Pakistan," Dalmiya said. Vice chairman of the National Cricket Academy CK Khanna said "Well done boys. Keep it up." (PTI)

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