“This is India. Here cricket is not just a game. It is so much more.” These words by Virender Sehwag right captures the mood of the nation as the Indian cricketers returned to their homes after their resounding victory over Australia in the recently concluded Border-Gavaskar Trophy down under. The cricketers, who achieved the near-impossible task of defeating the Aussie 2-1 in the Test series and breached their Gabba fortress in the process, received a hero’s welcome as they landed in India.
When coach Ravi Shastri along with his victorious men including Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Shardul Thakur and Prithvi Shaw arrived in Mumbai, they were welcomed by the Mumbai Cricket Affiliation officials. Check out this video as team India members cut the celebratory cake.
On arrival in Mumbai, Rahane, Shastri, Rohit, Shardul and Shaw had been felicitated by Mumbai Cricket Affiliation officers, together with President Vijay Patil and Apex Council members.Rahane celebrated the victory by cutting a cakepic.twitter.com/OVLCkLSlqk— K I R A N (@Kiran_reddy_k) January 21, 2021
Among all the players, the grandest reception was that of pacer T Natarajan who rode a chariot amid hundreds of fans who had erupted in his Chinnappampatti village in the Salem district to welcome their hero. Natarajan has returned after making his international debut across all three formats, the first Indian to do so during the same tour.
Check out these unbelievable scenes from his village:
Swagat nahi karoge ?This is India. Here cricket is not just a game. It is so much more. Natarajan getting a grand welcome upon his arrival at his Chinnappampatti village in Salem district. What an incredible story.#Cricket pic.twitter.com/hjZ7kReCub— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) January 21, 2021
சொந்த மண்ணில் மக்கள் வெள்ளத்தில் மிதந்துவரும் நடராஜன்! மக்களின் எழுச்சிமிகு வரவேற்பால் அதிரும் சின்னப்பம்பட்டி#SunNews | #Natarajan pic.twitter.com/N9jNhPrrT5— Sun News (@sunnewstamil) January 21, 2021
Ajinkya Rahane, India’s stand-in skipper in the final three Test matches in the absence of Virat Kohli, clearly deserves all the credit coming his way. He got a King’s reception as he entered his home in Mulund, surrounded by fans who welcomed him with flower petals, trumpets and sweets.
Pacer Shardul Thakur was welcomed with traditional aarti and sweets as he entered his home in Palghar, Mumbai. Thakur played a crucial role in India’s victory in the final Test, where he scored a brilliant 67 runs in the first innings and claimed seven wickets in the match. Check out these pictures of his reception:
21-year-old Washington Sundar returned home in Chennai to the beats of dhol where his family and friends awaited his arrival. He was greeted with aarti while he stood at the gate. Check out the video:
Hitman Rohit Sharma had to deal with the paparazzi as he came out of the airport amid tight security.
The proud fans stood beyond the barriers welcoming their hero.