Fans made a beeline at the Gaggal Airport in Kangra to welcome their favorite cricket stars as India and West Indies players arrived at Dharamsala for the fourth one day international (ODI) match of the Micromax cup.
Enthusiasm ran high as fans, most of them young college students, had starting gathering outside the airport since morning. Team India was first to arrive at the scenic hill-town located in the foothills of mighty Dhauladhar range, followed by West Indies team, who arrived at 2.00pm.
Chanting slogans in favour of the cricketers, the fans gave a big cheer to the favorite stats and jostled to shake hands and take autographs when the teams appeared outside the airport lounge.
“I am a big fan of Indian skipper MS Dhoni. It was too exciting as I was able to see him from close. He also waved at me when I greeted him,” said Ankush Sood, a college student.
Another cricket enthusiast, Kamal Singh, who had arrived at the airport with his friends, said he wanted a photograph with Dhoni and other team members, but could not succeed due to heavy security arrangements.
Many others were unlucky as the police stopped them from entering the airport complex. The police personnel on duty outside the airport had a tough time controlling the crowd.
Meanwhile, both the teams headed to the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association's (HPCA) “The Pavilion”-a five start resort in the outskirts of Dharamsala town. Many of the young fans had also gathered outside “The Pavilion” to have a glimpse of the cricketers.
The India-West Indies ODI is second international match to be hosted by Dharamsala. Earlier, India played England at this venue in January last year. Fans are expecting a thrilling match as five match series is leveled 1-1.