Karachi June 20 (TNS): Pakistan cricket team on Tuesday returned home after winning the ICC Champion Trophy.
Cricket players arrived at Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Sialkot, Mardan airports in different flights to be received by thousands of slogan chanting fervent and passionate fans and public.
Pakistan cricket captain Sarfraz Ahmed arrived at the Karachi airport, where a flood of crowd and fans received him as soon as he came out of the lounge, where a tight security had been put in place to control the seemingly unruly crowd.
“(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.
Fans decorate the entire street and house of Captain Sarfaraz Ahmed who arrived with fast bowler Ruman Raees at 4:45 am with the trophy that Pakistan had won for the first time fans are meet them and selfies with heroes.
Fans brought a special 70 foot long national flag and carried it in the street as Sarfaraz home in a special convoy provided by the provincial government.
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.”
Provincial governor Mohammad Zubair said he was proud of “son of Sindh” Ahmed and hoped the victory will ignite more energy into youngsters playing the sport.
“He is the son of Sindh province and we are here to accord him warm welcome,” Zubair said.
“We have not hosted any international team for the last 8 or 9 years, Pakistani players are barred from playing in the IPL (Indian Premier League), but I’m sure with this victory our players will get more opportunities.”
The young Pakistani team created history on Sunday by crushing the Indian cricket team and winning by 180 runs in the ICC Champions Trophy finale at Oval.
Pakistani cricket team player return home separately to their hometowns due to unavailability of tickets in a single flight together.
Four cricketers arrived in Lahore, two landed in Karachi, two arrived in Islamabad, while two in Peshawar and Sailkot.
Faheem Ashraf, Babar Azam, Ahmad Shahzad and Hasan Ali landed at Allama Iqbal International Airport in Lahore, where they were presented with flower bouquets and showered with rose petals as hundreds of fans received them.
Hassan Ali’s parents said the whole city of Gujranwala was fully prepared to give their son a hero welcome.
Captain Sarfraz and Rumman Raees arrived at Karachi, where Mayor Karachi Waseem Akhtar and Governor Sindh Muhammad Zubair greeted the winning captain and also presented the traditional gift of Sindhi Topi and Ajrak. Airport officials didn’t miss the opportunity to take selfies with the returning playes.
Shadab Khan and Imad Wasim arrived at the Benazir International Airport in Islamabad around 7:30,where deputy mayor Islamabad Zeeshan Naqvi and hundreds of fans welcomed them with flower bouquets.
Young batting sensation Fakhar Zaman arrived Peshawar and Haris Sohail arrived at Sialkot airport from Dubai.
Fakhar Zaman’s brother said that preparations were finalized to receive their hero in Mardan.
Junaid Khan, Mohammad Hafeez, Haris Sohail, Shoaib Malik and Azhar Ali stayed back in the United Kingdom for a few more days.