Simon Taufel, the five-time ICC Umpire of the Year, has said that the 2011 World Cup semi-final between India and Pakistan in Mohali was in itself like a final.
India had managed to defeat Pakistan in the 2011 World Cup semi-final by 29 runs to enter the final of the tournament.
"The semi-final in Mohali was certainly a wonderful occasion and in a lot of ways, it was a final in itself. It seemed like the whole world was watching us, it seemed like the whole world had their private jets parked at Chandigarh Airport," Taufel told ICC.
"Already the city of Mumbai was in celebration mode in anticipation of what I would call a second final of the 2011 Cricket World Cup," he added.
Talking about the 2011 World Cup final between India and Sri Lanka at Wankhede, Taufel said: "You look at the full house of the crowd and the noise that is going on, and I remember turning to Aleem and said 'good luck hearing anything tonight and may all of your outside edges be loud ones'."
"Dhoni finishes off in style. A magnificent strike into the crowd! India lift the World Cup after 28 years!" these words by Ravi Shastri of M.S. Dhoni after the wicketkeeper-batsman hit a humongous six against Sri Lanka pacer Nuwan Kulasekara in the summit clash of the 2011 ICC World Cup at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai still reverberate in the ears of every Indian citizen.
"I remember the ball being hit out of the park and in some ways, you think 'thank god that is over and we've got through the event relatively unscathed'. While other people are celebrating or other people are consoling each other, for us umpires it is all about the sense of relief that we have actually gotten through it," said Taufel.
"Nothing significant or major has happened to be a talking point or a distracting issue from an umpiring team perspective and that is a great thing and we can just walk in the room and just relax now," he added.
With that monstrous six against Kulasekara, Dhoni not only gave millions of Indians a memory worth revisiting throughout their lives but also fulfilled the long-cherished dream of legend Sachin Tendulkar, who had, until then, almost all the trophies in his cabinet except the World Cup. Tendulkar, known as the 'God of Cricket', had waited 22 years to lift the trophy and on April 2, 2011, his dream finally came true at his home ground.
( With inputs from ANI )
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