Mumbai: Both English and Indian cricket teams were scheduled to check into the Taj Hotel in Mumbai just two days after the terrorists struck and the Test match to be played in the city was moved out.
From September 26 to 29 Mumbai was ripped apart witnessing 60 hours of terror. The entire country was in shock as Mumbai bled.
However, the win in the first Test against England at MA Chidambaram in Chennai on Monday, which was scripted to a large extent by Sachin Tendulkar's 41st Test century, finally brought some cheers to Mumbai residents.
So finally after nearly 20 days Mumbai finally smiled on Monday when one of its favourite sons gave the great city something to cheer about.
"What happened in Mumbai was extremely, extremely unfortunate and these hundreds and all these things will give certain amount of happiness to people but has happened in Mumbai is very hard to recover for that. I would take this opportunity to thank everybody who actually stood up to this and made sure that the terrorists were captured and also killed. I would like to salute all those jawans, hotel staff and every body - the firemen, Navy, the NSG. It's been fantastic. Finally coming to cricket which is lesser thing compared to what has happened. I feel what we ever we can contribute in a small manner, we have been able to do that. We are with those people who have lost their dear ones," Tendulkar said after the match dedicating his century and India's win to Mumbai.
The match started with both teams solemnly remembering the victims of 26/11 after which it was cricket played in the true spirit of the game.
It was an exciting five days of Test cricket with the odds gradually tilting against India till Virender Sehwag and then Tendulkar and Yuvraj Singh won it for a grateful nation.
It was a remarkable gesture on the part of England to play despite the security concerns.
Crackers at Mumbai's Shivaji Park celebrating India's victory brought with it a whiff of relief and a sense of excitement and accomplishment.
The wounds would remain for ever but cricket definitely helped ease the pain.