Proud Passi returns home, now dreams big | punjab | Hindustan Times
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Proud Passi returns home, now dreams big

Local lad Kamal Passi - part of the victorious U-19 World Cup winning Indian team is humility personified. The fast bowler has dedicated the triumph to his grandfather, who has been his biggest inspiration.

punjab Updated: Aug 29, 2012 22:31 IST
HT correspondent

Local lad Kamal Passi - part of the victorious U-19 World Cup winning Indian team is humility personified. The fast bowler has dedicated the triumph to his grandfather, who has been his biggest inspiration.

Passi, who received a warm welcome at the Amritsar airport, on his arrival, said: "It was a great win. It feels so good to be the part of a World champion team. Beating Australia in Australia was a big task and we did it. Teamwork did it for us."

He added that playing the World Cup was an eye-opening experience and that his next dream was to be part of the Indian national team.

Surrounded by emotional and cheering supporters, Passi made sure that the responded to every cheering hand.

"We trained hard for over 18 months and the World Cup was a reward for that. This is not the end and we have a long way to go yet," added Passi.

"I know a berth in the Indian team is a long way away, but I am confident that I will get there with my hard work and commitment."

On a question, Passi said, "I dedicate this victory to my grandfather 'Mangal Dada'. He has been my inspiration. His presence has always been of immense help." Kamal's grandfather is a grounds man at the local Gandhi Ground and is always seen working hard and talking to the boys.

"It is a big moment. My grandson as made everyone proud and the feeling is yet to sink in. I spent more than 40 years nurturing cricket pitches and grounds. Passi's success is a reward of all that hard work," said Mangal Dada.

Earlier, outise the arrival terminal, Passi's mother Sunita said: "My son has made the country proud. His dream was to do something for the country and he has done it. I am eager to see him and will cook his favourite when we reach home."

Apart from friends and family, Rani Trophy cricketer Ravneet Ricky, who was also part of the U-19 world cup winning team in 2002 was there to welcome Passi. Cricketers Chandan Madaan, Munish Sharma and Sandeep Sawal also welcomed Passi.

"This is a big achievement. The young cricketers exhibited grace and poise under pressure. Beating Australia in Australia is very tough and they made it seem easy. Kamal Passi has great potential and should not look back from here," said Ravneet Ricky.

Bhajji lands, say U-19 team future of Indian cricket
Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh also landed at the airport terminal on Wednesday. He in back in the country after a stint in English county cricket.

"The U-19 team has made us proud. I congratulate them and hope that they carry forward the good work. The future belongs to them." On his return to Team India, Bhajji said: "I am happy to be back and am looking forward to the T-20 World Cup."