Thursday, March 6, 2008
GRAND OVATION FOR THE INDIAN CRICKET TEAM
The Indian team was given a grand reception in Delhi
The Indian one-day team returned from the CB Series in Australia to a rousing reception at the Delhi airport, where they were greeted by hundreds of fans and received by officials of the Indian board and the Delhi and District Cricket Association.
After a hard-fought series, where they won the finals 2-0, the team reached Mumbai in the morning and took a chartered flight to Delhi for a function at Feroz Shah Kotla. They were joined there by two members of the World Cup-winning under-19 side - Virat Kohli, the captain and Pradeep Sangwan - who play for Delhi.
Speaking at the function, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the team captain, praised his side, which became the first Indian team to win a series in Australia. The series was played out amid some controversy and Dhoni made special mention of the team's behaviour: "The conduct of my team on and off the field is responsible for our victory."
Sachin Tendulkar, who played match-winning knocks in both the finals, told news channel CNN-IBN that the team hadn't been distracted by the controversies - which originated in the Sydney Test - during the tour. "Plenty of things happened on the field, but we were focussed on the cricket."
Rohit Sharma, who made a vital 66 in the first final, echoed Tendulkar's sentiments. "We tried to enjoy our cricket as much as possible," he said. "All the controversies motivated us." The BCCI had initially planned an open-top bus parade from the airport, similar to the welcome the team had received after winning the World Twenty20, but decided against it later. "The players have been in Australia for more than two-and-a-half months and will also be tired after the two flights," BCCI vice-president Rajeev Shukla told PTI. "That's why we have not made any elaborate arrangements as the players will be eager to go home."
A reward of Rs 10 crore (US$2.5 million) had already been announced for the team.
at 8:21 PM