Cheers for victory: Team India returns home

The victorious Indian cricket team returned tonight to a tumultous welcome at the Indira Gandhi International Airport.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:04 IST
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New Delhi:

It took India 50 years to register a series win against Pakistan on Pakistani soil. And the men who achieved the feat received a befitting welcome back home today, as thousands of fans lined outside the capital's Indira Gandhi International airport to cheer their team which landed in Delhi this evening. The team had left Islamabad in the evening, and they had a pleasant though somewhat turbulent flight, popping champagne along the way. Huge turnout The road leading to the international air terminal was blocked by people shouting slogans, beating drums, and waving banners. There was also a definite political tinge to the reception committee, with a sea of BJP flags being waved by party supporters. The big cheer As soon as the team members walked out of the terminal, fans and well-wishers, waiting patiently for hours, garlanded the stars and danced in joy to the drum beats. Among the crowd was Abid Ali, a relative of teenage fast bowling sensation Irfan Pathan. Ali has come all the way from Jodhpur, Rajasthan, to greet his cousin and the rest of the team. "We are very proud of Pathan. He has made the entire country happy with his superb performance," Ali said. Led by Sourav Ganguly, the triumphant cricketers enjoyed every moment of the reception as more and more people continued to pour in and join the frenzied celebration. There was considerable excitement for Delhi's own hero Virender Sehwag. Amidst high decibel Bhangra beats, BJP supporters waved saffron flags and chanted the names of Sehwag and Union Minister Sahib Singh Verma. (With PTI inputs)