After India won the World Cup, the team took a lap of the ground at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai, with Sachin carried on the shoulders of teammates Harbhajan Singh, Virat Kohli, Yusuf Pathan and Yuvraj Singh. That image left an indelible impression, and the moment was titled ‘Carried on the shoulders of a nation’ by Laureus.
Thank you all for the overwhelming love and support! I dedicate this @LaureusSport award to India 🇮🇳, all my team… https://t.co/F7EwYrA7m3
— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) 1582003641000
A public vote, which gave fans the opportunity to choose the winner, had Sachin bagging the most number of votes. This award was the first-ever for an Indian at Laureus. Sachin, wearing a black bow tie and black suit, walked up to collect the award from Steve Waugh and tennis legend Boris Becker.
“It’s incredible (to get the award). The feeling of winning the World Cup was beyond what words can express. How many times do you get an event where there are no mixed opinions. Very rarely does the entire country celebrate it. The World Cup win was one such occasion. This is a reminder of how powerful sport is and what magic it brings to our lives. Even now when I watch that moment, I get goosebumps. It has stayed with me,” said Tendulkar.
Tendulkar, who won the World Cup in his sixth attempt, was asked by Becker about the emotions he went through after winning the Cup that he had “chased for so long”. “My journey started in 1983 when I was 10 years old. India had won the World Cup for the first time. I did not understand the significance that time; and just because everybody was celebrating, I also joined the party.
“But somewhere I knew something special has happened to the country and I wanted to experience it one day. That is how my journey began. When the 2011 World Cup trophy was in my hand and also the tricolor, it was the proudest moment of my life. Holding that trophy which I had chased for 22 years but I never lost hope, never gave up. I was merely lifting that trophy on behalf of my countrymen.”
Tendulkar also threw light on the impact South African leader Nelson Mandela had on him. He was only 19 when he met Mandela during a tour of South Africa. “His (Nelson Mandela) hardship did not affect his leadership. Out of the many messages he left, the most important I felt was that sport has got the power to unite everyone.”