'King Khan' lauds Indian Cricket stars

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New Delhi, Sep 24: Expressing elation over India's historic win in the first Twenty20 World Cup Cricket Championship in South Africa, Bollywood's 'King Khan' Shahrukh tonight said he always had a strong belief that the team would emerge triumphant.

''I and my son strongly believed all through the final between India and Pakistan that we would win. At no time did we feel that India would lose. Fortunately for us, our young cricketing heroes proved us right,''Shahrukh said in his reaction over India lifting the T20 championship.

Speaking to a television channel, Shahrukh, who was in Johannesburg along with his son to watch the exciting final encounter between India and Pakistan, said it was his strong belief in the ability of the Indian youngsters that led him to suddenly decide early this morning to go to South Africa to lend support to the team.

''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 battle in the field. Fortunately for us we were not disappointed,''Shahrukh said.

Referring to his recent film 'Chak De India' featuring him as a coach of the women's hockey team that trains them to emerge victorious in the World Cup, Shahrukh said,'' it is from people like Kapil Dev and Madan Lal (members of the 1983 world cup winning team) and Mohinder Singh Dhoni (Captain of the T20 world cup winning Indian team) that we draw inspirations for films like 'Chak De India' and not the other way round. In fact, it is these sportsmen who are the real heroes of our country. As actors, we only try to draw inspiration from them in our acting.'' Expressing his thanks to people like BCCI president Sharad Pawar, Industrialist Vijay malya and Congressman Rajiv Shukla for arranging his visit to South Africa at such a short notice, Shahrukh said,''I am extremely happy to be 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 phillip to sports in the subcontinent and brought cricket back into the centrestage after the unfortunate loss at the 2007 cricket World Cup,''Shahrukh said.

Refusing to compare the World Cup win in 1983 and the T20 win, Shahrukh said,''I would not like to make any comparisons. A win is a win. In that sense, the present win is as much cherished as the 83 win.'' Bollywood actor Suneil Shetty also expressed elation at the Indian team's 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 Srishant catching the ball that I realized India had won,''Suneil Shetty told a TV channel.

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

''I believe that T 20 cricket is here to stay and will give strong competition to one day cricket,'' he said.

Meanwhile, Delhi Pradesh BJP chief Harshvardhan also congratulated the Indian cricket team on its historic win.

''I am happy that we are World champions. We feel on top of the world on the cricket team's triumph,''Dr Harshvardhan said in his congratulatory message.

UNI

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