The triumphant players of Pakistan team returned home on Tuesday morning to a rousing welcome after routing arch-rivals India by 180-run at The Oval to lift its maiden ICC Champions Trophy.
Hundreds of fans stayed up late to welcome home members of the national cricket team returning after their historic win against arch-rivals India at London’s Oval Ground.
Crowds had gathered at airports in Karachi and Lahore early Tuesday morning, eagerly awaiting the return of the champions.
Fans decorated the entire street and house of captain Sarfaraz Ahmed who arrived with fast bowler Rumman Raees at 4:45 am with the trophy that Pakistan had won for the first time.
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Some even climbed on rooftops and balconies to watch the captain return home. They had waited through the night to welcome their hero, with some carrying children on their shoulders to get a glimpse of the winning captain.
Fans had also brought a special 70-foot long national flag and carried it in the street as Sarfaraz drove home in a special convoy provided by the provincial government.
Both cricketers were presented with traditional Sindhi shawls and caps at the lounge as fans, and airport officials didn’t miss an opportunity to take selfies with their heroes.
Sarfaraz held up the trophy to loud cheers and chants of “Long live Sarfaraz!” as a police band played patriotic songs nearby.
“(We won) thanks to Allah and the prayers of the whole nation,” Sarfaraz said in brief comments as he jostled his way through the crowd of well-wishers.
It took Sarfaraz nearly half an hour to enter his house once his car drove into the street as fans clamoured for photos and a glimpse of their national team captain and police tried to clear the way.
Sarfaraz waved the trophy from the balcony of his house as he was showered with rose petals, much to the delight of his fans who were chanting “Pakistan Zindabad.”
“This is your trophy and we won it just because of you,” he said.
On this occasion, somebody made a request to him to sing Mauka Mauka song and the request was fulfilled as Sarfraz sang along the cheering and glaring crowd.
The winning skipper also chanted “Pakistan Zindabad” and raised slogan “Nara-e-Takbeer, Allah-u-Akbar”.
— Benazir Mir Samad (@BenazirMirSamad) June 20, 2017