Sachin Tendulkar being lifted on the shoulders of his teammates after their World Cup triumph at home in 2011 was voted the Laureus best sporting moment in the last 20 years.
With the backing of Indian cricket fans, Tendulkar got the maximum number of votes to emerge winner on Monday.
Tendulkar, competing in his sixth and last World Cup, finally realised his long-term dream when skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni smacked Sri Lankan pacer Nuwan Kulasekara out of the park for a winning six.
The charged-up Indian cricketers rushed to the ground and soon they lifted Tendulkar on their shoulders and made a lap of honour, a moment etched in the minds of the fans.
Former Australian skipper Steve Waugh handed the trophy to Tendulkar after tennis legend Bros Becker announced the winner at a glittering ceremony.
“It’s incredible. The feeling of winning the world cup was beyond what words can express. How many times you get an event happening where there are no mixed opinions. Very rarely the entire country celebrates,” Tendulkar said after receiving the trophy.
The 46-year-old Tendulkar, the highest run-getter in the cricket world, said holding the Laureus trophy has also given him great honour.
He also shared the impact the revolutionary South African leader Nelson Mandela had on him. He met him when he was just 19 years old.
“His hardship did not affect his leadership. Out of many messages he left, the most important I felt was that sport has got the power to unite everyone.
“Today sitting in this room with so many athletes, some of them did not have everything but they made the best of everything they had. I thank them for inspiring youngsters to pick a sport of their choice and chase their dreams. This trophy belongs to all of us, it’s not just about me.”