New Delhi: From Prime Minister Narendra Modi to eminent sports personalities, the country was wholesome in its praise for the Indian hockey team after it clinched the Asian Champions Trophy by beating arch-rivals Pakistan in the finals at Kuantan, Malaysia on Sunday.
Favourites India prevailed 3-2 over Pakistan to reclaim the trophy and present a perfect Diwali gift to the nation. PM Modi wrote on his twitter handle, “Very proud of our hockey team. Congratulations on winning the Asian Champions Trophy.”
Very proud of our hockey team. Congratulations on winning the Asian Champions Trophy. @TheHockeyIndia— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) October 30, 2016
Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar too, was prompt in reacting to the team’s achievement. “What a win by the Indian hockey team!,” Tendulkar wrote moments after India’s march to the title.
Tendulkar’s former team-mate Virender Sehwag wrote, “Yesterday Moral of the story: Maa ki Mamta Jeet aasan bana deti hai. Today Moral of the story: #BaapBaapHotaHai #IndVsPak #NoMaukaMauka.”
Champion boxer and Olympic medallist Vijender Singh called it the “best” Diwali gift. Vijender said, “Best Diwali gift by @TheHockeyIndia win #championstrophy.”
The politicians joined the sporting fraternity in congratulating the national hockey team. Union minister and Olympic medallist Rajyavardhan Rathore wrote on his handle, “Congratulations Team India. Well done.”
Senior minister Arun Jaitley wrote, “Congratulations to Indian hockey team, management & fans on winning the second Asian Champions Trophy by beating Pakistan. Well done!”
Another union minister V.K. Singh said, “A wonderful #Diwali gift for the nation. Many congratulations to the #IndianHockeyTeam for beating Pakistan 3-2 to become Asian Champions.”
Goals from Rupinder Pal Singh (18th minute), Yousuf Affan (23rd) and Nikkin Thimmaiah (51st) helped India surmount the challenge from Pakistan, who rallied from two goals behind through strikes by Muhammad Aleem Bilal (26th) and Ali Shaan (38th) in the title clash of the fourth edition of the tournament.
BCCI president Anurag Thakur said, “We’ve got another CHAMPION this #?????? - #TeamIndia @TheHockeyIndia wins #ACT2016 #INDvPAK ! :-) Well played boys!” Another senior BCCI functionary and Congress politician Rajeev Shukla wrote, “Well Done Indian Hockey Team. Congrats for Winning the Asian Champions Trophy beating Pakistan.”
Cricketers Gautam Gambhir and Mohammed Kaif lauded the team. Gambhir said, “A heartwarming Diwali gift from the Indian Hockey Team. Congratulations on being crowned Asian Champions. We are immensely proud of you! While Kaif said, “Congratulations @TheHockeyIndia , what a great Diwali gift to a billion people. Great Victory.”
Former hockey captain Viren Rasquinha wrote, “CHAMPIONS!!! India beat Pak 3-2. Well done Team India #ACT2016. “Didnt play too well yet beat Pak. Indian hockey is on the right track. Proud of this team. Well done.” Indian women’s hockey team player Rani Rampal wrote, “Superb Diwali gift by our Men’s team @TheHockeyIndia to d nation by defeating Pakistan in the finals & winning Asian Champions Trophy title.”