Bollywood lauds India's triumph, SRK says Kapil, Dhoni real heroes

New Delhi, Sep 25 (UNI) Euphoric over India lifting the inaugural Twenty20 World Cup, Bollywood's reigning superstar Shah Rukh Khan described cricketers like Kapil Dev and now Mahender Singh Dhoni as the real heroes of the country, who brought glory to the nation by scooping the World Cup first in 83 and now.

''I am just a 'Badshah' (king) without a crown, but Kapil paaji and Dhoni are the 'Badshahs with the Taj (crown). These sportsmen are the real heroes of India. I am just an actor who tries to take inspiration from them in films like 'Chak De India','' Shah Rukh, who was shouting from the stands at the Wanderers along with his son Aryan during the grand finale, told a news channel after India's electrifying win.

Refusing to see this win as an offshoot of the enthusiasm for sports created by his latest flick to the hit the marquee 'Chak De India', which featured the King Khan as the coach of the Indian Women's hockey team whose training helps the team win the world cup.

''In fact, it is the other way round. It is from people like Kapil Dev and Madan Lal (members of the 1983 world cup winning squad) and Dhoni that we draw inspirations for films like 'Chak De India' and not the other way round,''Bollywood badshah said.

Expressing elation over the see-saw battle which eventually saw India romping home, its first after a gap of 24 years since the cricket world cup win in 1983, Shah Rukh said he had a strong belief that the Indian team would emerge triumphant in the Twenty20 World Cup.

'' My son and I strongly believed all through the final between India and Pakistan that India would win.

At no point of time did we feel that India would lose. Fortunately for us, our young cricketing heroes proved us right.'' Shah Rukh said it was his strong belief in the capability of the Indian youngsters that led him to suddenly decide early yesterday to go to South Africa to lend support to Team India.

''I was very small when the Indian team won the Cricket World Cup in 1983. But now I wanted my son to watch closely our young cricketing heroes battling it out in the cricketing field.

Fortunately for us, we were not disappointed,''Shah Rukh said.

Expressing his gratitude to the people like BCCI president Sharad Pawar, Industrialist Vijay Mallaya and Congressman Rajiv Shukla for arranging his visit to South Africa at such short notice, Shah Rukh said,''I am extremely happy that I was present at such a historic moment in India's cricketing history.'' ''I am also happy that this win by the Indian cricket team as well as the brilliant show by the Pakistani cricket team has given the much-needed fillip to sport in the subcontinent and brought cricket back into the center stage after the unfortunate loss in the 2007 cricket World Cup,''Shah Rukh said.

Refusing to liken the world cup wins in 1983 to the Twenty20 World Cup win, Shah Rukh said,''I would not like to make any comparisons. A win is a win is a win. In that sense, the present win is as much cherished as the 1983 win.'' Bollywood actor Suneil Shetty also expressed jubilation at the Indian team's stupendous win.

''When Misbah-ul Haq hit that last shot, I had my heart in my mouth. I thought we had lost it. Its only when they showed Sree Santh catching the ball that I realised India had won,'' Suneil told a TV channel.

Suneil said it was a really exciting tournament that they had witnessed in South Africa.

''It was a magical finale to what has really been a fantastic tournament. I believe that T20 cricket is here to stay and will give stiff competition to one-day cricket,''Suneil said.


Story first published: Tuesday, September 25, 2007, 13:06 [IST]
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