The memories of 2002 NatWest Trophy final between India and England are still cherished by many cricket fanatics across the globe. The spirited batting performance from the young Turks of Team India stunned their English counterparts. The England team posted a challenging target of 325 runs, which was quite tough to chase down back in those days, especially in the finale of the series.
But the two young Indian batsmen, Yuvraj Singh and Mohammad Kaif, decided not to give up and proved their prowess to everyone as the Men in Blue dramatically won the finale by two wickets at the iconic Lord’s stadium.
While Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag failed to help the side, Kaif and Yuvraj went on to stitch a crucial partnership of 121 runs. After Yuvraj’s dismissal(69), Kaif took the responsibility on his shoulders and guided the Indian team to a memorable victory. He played an unbeaten knock of 87 runs off 75 deliveries.
Recalling the celebrations in his hometown Allahabad, the former Indian cricketer said he felt very special as the people were lined-up on the roads just to see him and chanting his name with ‘happy faces’.
That day, I felt like Amitabh Bachchan – Mohammad Kaif
“When I returned home to Allahabad, I was carried in an open jeep. It took us nearly three-four hours to reach my home. People lined up on the roads. Garlands, chants, happy faces. When I was a kid, I had seen Amitabh Bachchan in an open jeep after he had won an election in my hometown. That day, I felt like Amitabh Bachchan,” Kaif stated in a column in the Indian Express Newspaper.
“That win against England changed the Indian cricket to an extent. It showed us that we could also chase big scores and win big finals – that’s one of the reasons why Indian fans remember it. It was definitely a big tournament win at Lord’s after the 1983 World Cup final.”
#OnthisDay in 2002 One of the best off field performance from lord’s balcony by Dada @SGanguly99 60(43) though he played vital half century but one of the top performance By Yuvi 69(63) & @MohammadKaif 87(75) on the field beating eng in the final of NatWest series. @BCCI 👏 pic.twitter.com/062f5rhM0v
— SACHIN TENDULKAR FC ◆TEAM_SACHIN◆ (@Sachin_rt_200) July 13, 2020