With Indians spread all over the world, it is always home away from home even when the cricket team tours.
Thus the excitement on the team’s arrival at the Oliver Tambo airport here, named after the former African National Congress president, didn’t come as a surprise.
It is well known that the India fans are the ones who help fill up the stadiums whenever the team travels to England. That number is also swelling in Australia.
And the number of Indians and people of Indian origin around after the flight landed here underlined the support MS Dhoni and his men can expect in South Africa. A passenger in fact turned into MS Dhoni’s ‘official’ fans’ photographer for a while on arrival.
The skipper, after the long flight, wasn’t too amused but still showed lot of patience as he obliged the fans. One can surely expect a large number of Indian fans to fly down from abroad and flock to the stadiums once action kicks off.
Former Test opener Wasim Jaffer, who toured here in 2006-07, says, “It’s like home, a lot of Indians come to the stadiums, especially Johannesburg and Durban where we are playing.”
Jaffer would know the value of kind faces as he was impressive in South Africa but failed in Australia a few months later. It may not mean everything, but friendly faces do lift the spirits.