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Natwest Series 2002 Final | Relive Sourav Ganguly's Iconic Celebration at Lord's Balcony

image-lk0neks4Team India celebrates after winning The Natwest Series in 2002

On this day in 2002, India's cricketing history was enriched with an unforgettable stroke. It was the day when former Indian captain, Sourav Ganguly, tore up the conventional rulebook of on-field decorum in a moment of spontaneous delirium.

Natwest series 2002 final celebrations

In an exuberant celebration that echoes in our memory even today, Ganguly waved his shirt above his head at the Lord's balcony following India's nail-biting victory over England in the Natwest Trophy final.

With England setting a mammoth target of 326 runs, India's fortunes were hanging by a thread after a disastrous start. But what transpired next was pure cricketing magic as two youngsters, Yuvraj Singh and Mohammad Kaif, stitched a partnership that defied the odds and turned the tables in India's favour. Their counter-attack had one single message - India would not yield easily.

A 121-run partnership for the sixth wicket between the two young guns brought the team back from the brink after a sudden collapse had left India tottering at 146 for five. Yuvraj's sublime 69 off 63 balls and Kaif's magnificent 87* off 75 balls led India to a thrilling two-wicket win with three balls to spare.

The sensational victory in the 2002 Natwest Final was not just another win, as it represented the dawn of a new era in Indian cricket. It signalled the arrival of a fearless, never-say-die attitude that would become the team's identity in the coming years.

As the winning runs were scored, Lord's, traditionally the stronghold of cricketing conservatism, witnessed a moment of wild joy from Ganguly. The fiery captain removed his jersey and swirled it over his head in an unrestrained celebration that was as unprecedented as it was iconic. 

The memorable Ganguly celebration was a response to a similar celebration by former English player Andrew Flintoff in Mumbai earlier that year.

This moment came to symbolise not only India's win but also the changing dynamics of international cricket. It was a visual proclamation that Indian cricket, under Ganguly's leadership, had shed its age-old deference and was ready to claim its place on the world stage with unabashed assertiveness.

Some viewed Ganguly's celebration as a breach of cricket's traditional etiquette. Still, for many, it was a manifestation of pure passion, an unconstrained eruption of joy after a hard-fought victory against robust rivals.