• Thursday, July 25, 2024

CRICKET

Modi meets India T20 World Cup-winning team in Delhi

The cricketers left for Mumbai after meeting the prime minister to take part in an open victory parade to commemorate the victory later on July 4.

Indian PM Narendra Modi with the national cricket team and the ICC T20 World Cup 2024 trophy which it won in the West Indies on June 29 beating South Africa, in New Delhi on Thursday, July 4, 2024. (ANI Photo/Video Grab)

By: Shubham Ghosh

MEMBERS of the Indian squad that won the T20 World Cup 2024 in the West Indies last weekend met prime minister Narendra Modi at his residence in New Delhi on Thursday (4) after reaching the national capital early in the morning.

The cricketers, who reached India with their families, some officials of the cricket board and media persons after getting stuck in Barbados for three days because of an extreme hurricane, checked into ITC Maurya hotel after a 16-hour flight to freshen up before leaving in the team bus to meet the prime minister. As per schedule, the squad’s breakfast was planned with Modi.

The cricketers received a warm welcome with the fans at the airport and some of them, including captain Rohit Sharma and vice captain Hardik Pandya, were see grooving to the music played by a dance troupe outside the team hotel. The cricketers were wearing medals and were joined by some fans.

Read: Virat Kohli’s World Cup win post India’s most liked on Instagram

Sharma raised the coveted trophy for the fans to catch a glimpse at the airport before entering the team bus. Virat Kohli, who played a winning knock in the final, gave a thumbs up to the crowd to acknowledge the support. Several fans were waiting at the airport since Wednesday night to see their heroes return home in a special chartered flight. Many of the airport staff were seen welcoming the cricketers wearing the national jersey.

They were then given a grand welcome at the hotel and cut a special cake before heading for the PM’s residence. Coach Rahul Dravid, who served the national side in the World Cup for one last time, was also present. The president of the Board of Control for Cricket (BCCI) in India, Roger Binny, who had a similar experience of meeting the country’s prime minister as a member of the World Cup-winning team in 1983, and the secretary, Jay Shah, were also seen.

Read: Virat Kohli retires from T20 internationals after India win World Cup

The PM was gifted an Indian jersey with the name ‘Namo’ and No.1 printed on its back.

The BCCI tweeted about the meeting, “The triumphant Indian Cricket Team met with the Honourable Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modiji, at his official residence today upon arrival.

“Sir, we extend our heartfelt gratitude to you for your inspiring words and the invaluable support you have provided to #TeamIndia”

After talks with Modi and clicking team pictures with him, the cricketers left for Mumbai where a victory parade in an open double-decker bus will be held in the coastal city on Thursday evening. Sharma and Shah on Wednesday (3) confirmed about the event.

Modi tweeted about his meeting with the champions, saying, “An excellent meeting with our Champions! Hosted the World Cup winning team at 7, LKM and had a memorable conversation on their experiences through the tournament.”

A huge turnout is expected at that event, which was also held in Mumbai after India won their last T20 World Cup crown in 2007 under Mahendra Singh Dhoni. The then squad had met former prime minister Manmohan Singh after the win.

Modi had spoken with the Indian cricketers on June 29 after they beat South Africa by seven runs in the final over the phone, congratulating them. He also appeared in a video to praise the Indian side which he condoled last year after it lost the final of the 50-over World Cup against Australia in Ahmedabad.

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