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Fan frenzy as World Cup winners India finally return home

India’s triumphant T20 World Cup squad received a rapturous welcome upon their return home on Thursday, greeted by enthusiastic fans eager to catch a glimpse of their sporting heroes.

Arriving in New Delhi from the Caribbean after a delayed journey due to Hurricane Beryl, the players were met with fervent chants of “India, India” from the ecstatic crowds. Whistles and cheers filled the air as the players, adorned with gold medals, emerged from the arrivals area, many acknowledging the fans with gestures of appreciation.

Overwhelmed with emotion, fan Rohit Khanna shared, “This is surreal, witnessing my team with the World Cup. I witnessed the 2011 triumph, but this moment is unforgettable.”

Despite heavy monsoon rain, fans had gathered outside the airport well before dawn to welcome the victorious team, who secured a thrilling victory over South Africa in the Barbados final last Saturday.

India’s cricket board expressed their pride on social media, emphasizing the significance of the team’s return. Vice-captain Hardik Pandya, sporting a Caribbean hat, was the first to emerge, followed by captain Rohit Sharma proudly carrying the glittering trophy, which he raised triumphantly.

Virat Kohli, a beloved figure in Delhi where he hails from, received thunderous applause as he waved to the cheering crowd. One particularly devoted fan with a tattoo of Kohli on his chest exclaimed, “It’s a dream for me to witness India return home from a World Cup.”

Later in the day, the team is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi before embarking on a victory parade in Mumbai, India’s financial hub.

Escorted by a convoy of police cars with sirens blaring, the team departed the airport in buses amidst the celebratory atmosphere. The recent win marked India’s first global cricket trophy in 11 years, following their 2013 Champions Trophy triumph and their 2011 World Cup victory on home soil under the leadership of Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

Fans displayed gratitude towards coach Rahul Dravid, who was hailed as “Mr. Dependable” in a poster held up among the crowds. The final match also marked Dravid’s last in charge, with the team lifting him in celebration during post-match festivities.

Following the final, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja announced their retirement from T20 international cricket, adding a bittersweet note to their victorious return.

Excited fans across the globe tracked the team’s journey back home on the Flightradar24 website, with the Air India charter flight becoming one of the most monitored flights for several hours.

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