Mumbai: India batsman Gautam Gambhir has vowed to dedicate victory in the World Cup final to the victims of the deadly 2008 Mumbai attacks.
The left-hander told the Hindustan Times newspaper that the team, who take on Sri Lanka in Mumbai on Saturday, were aware of the weight of expectation of the nation.
"If we win the final, for me, it'll be dedicated to the people who lost their lives in the 26/11 massacre," he said, referring to the November 26, 2008 militant attacks in the city that left 166 people dead and over 300 injured.
India blames the attacks, carried out by 10 heavily armed gunmen, on the banned, Pakistan-based Islamist group Lashkar-e-Taiba, with help from elements in the Pakistani military.
The wave of strikes on high-profile targets, including the Taj Mahal Palace hotel where both the India and Sri Lanka teams are currently staying, led to the suspension of fragile peace talks between New Delhi and Islamabad.
India beat Pakistan in the semi-final earlier this week, with both countries' prime ministers in the crowd in what has been seen as "cricket diplomacy" to get the dialogue back on track.
Gambhir said he was "sure" the win against Pakistan would have helped those affected by the attacks and that victory should be dedicated to the victims.
But amid the frenzy of expectation in the passionate cricket nation, the batsman said any World Cup win should be put into perspective alongside pressing issues such population, crime and corruption.
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