Thousands of wildly cheering fans lined the roads despite the rain and repeatedly threatened to surge over police barricades as the triumphant Indian cricket team rode in an open-top double-decker bus from Mumbai airport to Wankhede stadium Wednesday morning.
The team that had won the
Twenty20 World Championships arrived to a rousing welcome as several thousand of fans reached Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport even when it was pouring rain.
It was mayhem as soon as Emirates Airlines announced the arrival of its flight from Dubai as waiting fans went into a frenzy with wildly beating drums and loud cheers - waiting to catch a glimpse of the young heroes who won the Twenty20 World Championships in South Africa Monday evening.
Indian cricket board president Sharad Pawar, vice-presidents Lalit Modi and Rajeev Shukla and chief selector Dilip Vengsarkar were the first to emerge from the arrival lounge warning the waiting crowd to the imminent appearance of the cricketing heroes.
Security personnel had a tough time keeping the surging crowd in check as people pressed forward towards the customs area to catch a glimpse of the players.
Soon the wait was over as Team India walked out of the airport lounge led by manager Sunil Dev followed by skipper Mahednra Singh Dhoni, sporting a huge red tilak on his forehead.
Excitement seemed to get the better of the players as Yuvraj Singh and S Sreesanth broke into an impromptu 'bhangra' along with the turbanator Harbhajan Singh. But within seconds the players were coaxed towards the open double-decker bus waiting to carry them to the Wankhede Stadium where a public reception has been organised.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh was among those present at the airport to receive the cricketers.