Jagaul.com Gaming Mumbai makes it a day to remember

Mumbai makes it a day to remember

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It was not a day to hold back. Never mind the jetlag from their long flight from Barbados to New Delhi and the long day, when the tasha dhol started beating in the stand, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli, led the Indian team players into a carefree dance.

Players of the T20 World Cup-winning team acknowledge fans during their open bus victory parade, in Mumbai, on Thursday. (PTI)

Team India reached the Wankhede Stadium to a raucous reception as the packed crowd gave them a reception to remember, as they had done to Kapil’s Devils in 1983, M S Dhoni’s young brigade in 2007 for winning the inaugural World T20 in 2007 and Sachin Tendulkar & Co after lifting the 2011 World Cup.

The crowd had waited for five hours for their champions to arrive. Rain or lack of basic facilities didn’t dampen their spirits, such was the enthusiasm over India’s 2024 T20 World Cup win. Dancing all along they were following the victory parade on the giants screens, as the open top bus of the Indian team slowly made its way to the stadium.

When the first player, Suryakumar Yadav, made an appearance on the balcony, a deafening roar rang around the stadium.

The most poignant moment was when Hardik Pandya joined Surya in the gallery. Booed all through the IPL, it was a moment to savour for him as the crowd broke into a spontaneous applause. He was their hero after his match-turning wicket of Heinrich Klaasen in the final, and bowling the final over had given him redemption.

One by one, the rest of the players came out to soak in the adulation.

But the man the Mumbai crowd was waiting for, Rohit Sharma, trooped out right at the end to a roar he will remember all his life.

Sensing the celebratory mood, even the rain gods smiled to stay away for the duration of the event.

When the captain was called on to the stage, he couldn’t utter a word for a long time as the crowd let him know what this victory meant to them. All evening the fans had been chanting, “Mumbai ka Raja kaun, Rohit Sharma, Rohit Sharma”. Now, with their hero right in fron of them, they took it a notch higher.

Finally when the crowd settled down, Rohit said:

“On behalf of my team and the BCCI, I would like to thank the fans! Ever since we have reached India, we have seen how much it means to them. For the last 11 years, they have wanted the trophy back in India! As desperate as we were to win the trophy, the fans were a bit more desperate. This team is special and I am lucky to have the chance to captain this unit.”

When he mentioned Suryakumar’s catch (off David Miller in the last over), chants of Surya, Surya rang around the stands. “It was written,” said Rohit on the catch, pointing skywards.

“When the pressure is there, those catches need to be taken and all the moments of training come into your mind. And at that moment it was a brilliant effort from him to take the catch!” said Rohit. “I am blessed to have this team, who at any given time have stood up to the challenges.”

Batting legend and coach Rahul Dravid said the recepton that his team has received shows how India makes cricket brilliant while adding how it was the perfect way to end his innings.

“This is a fantastic note to sign off on. I am going to miss all this love. What we have been seeing today and what I have heard since the win shows how India makes cricket brilliant!” said Dravid.

Virat Kohli’s arrival had the crowd cheering him by his nickname, “Cheeku, Cheeku”. Like Rohit, it also took him some time to be heard as the crowd showed him their appreciation.

“Since we came back what has happened is phenomenal! I remember when I won that World Cup as well. I couldn’t connect with the emotions of the senior players back then. I was 22, 23. But now, it’s a different feeling. Now, to be in this position. We both (Rohit) have been trying for so long. The only aim was to carry the team for so long,” said Kohli.

“This is the first time I’ve seen Rohit show so much emotion on the field. When I was walking up the steps, I was crying, he was crying and we hugged. That is a special moment. The Indian flag is what we play for,” Kohli added.

Everyone bowed in respect when player of the tournament, Jasprit Bumrah, stepped on to the stage.

“It feels amazing. This ground is really special in my life. As a kid, I came here to play cricket and what I saw today, I will never forget that,” the Mumbai Indians and India star said about his connection with the ground.

The evening came to a close with the team taking a lap of honour while throwing signed tennis balls into the crowd. The lucky few got their hands of a precious momentos. The others just soaked in the moment.

If you ever wanted to truly understand what makes Indian cricket tick, you just had to be there on a wet, humid evening at the Wankhede. It was the stuff that dreams are made of; dreams that someday in the future may turn into trophies themselves.

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