Bengaluru Veteran India batsman Robin Uthappa could not sleep for three days after the M.S. Dhoni-led team won the inaugural T20 World Cup in 2007, he has said. India defied all odds to clinch the 2007 T20 World Cup in South Africa, beating Pakistan in a nail-biting final by five runs.
“After winning the World Cup, I did not sleep for three days straight. It didn’t really hit us initially; we were just ecstatic that we beat Pakistan in the finals,” Uthappa said during the Royals Podcast hosted by Ish Sodhi.
“The enormity of it hit us when we landed in India. The reception we received was massive, I mean Bombay doesn’t stop for anyone, that day the entire city came to a standstill and moved only in the direction our bus was moving. Bizarrely we went through all of the Indian weather in that one day.
“What would usually take 45 minutes to an hour on a normal day, took us 5 and a half hours on that particular day. It went from being cold to rainy to humid and then hot. By the time we reached Wankhede, we were famished.
“I remember people throwing water, fruits, and chocolates at us so that we don’t lose energy and keep going. It was fun and all of us really cherished those memories. It was a massive relief to win a World Cup after 1983.
“I don’t think words do justice to the emotion of being a World Cup winner. It surpasses pretty much everything you feel as a cricketer. It’s a bit complex but it’s one of the most amazing feelings you get as an athlete.
“Simply because it makes you feel proud that you made a difference and added value to your team at that point in time to win a world championship. You have played your part and everybody has to play their part to win a World Cup,” the 34-year old elaborated.
Rajasthan Royals roped in Uthappa — who was released by Kolkata Knight Riders — for Rs 3 crore at last year’s IPL auction.
“The way I’ve been received and welcomed at RR, I haven’t missed a thing it’s been so great here. Rajasthan Royals have made me completely feel at home, it has been an amazing welcome into the franchise for me,” Uthappa said.
“I am gunning to play for RR and am delighted to be here. It’s easy to see that it’s a very well-run franchise and you need to give credit to guys who are running it.”