Related Link : Twenty20 World Championship 2007
Members of India’s World Championship winning contingent arrived this morning at the Mumbai airport to be cheered by thousands of fans along with important personalities and media. The heroes for India were taken in an open-top bus from the airport to the Wankhede Stadium where a felicitation program was held. The journey from the airport to the Stadium, a 30km long one was a procession that would be an inspiration for the Indian Cricket Team to achieve much more laurels for their Nation. It also was motivation for all the aspiring cricketers. Lakhs of people came on the streets to have a glimpse of their heroes with the bus journey taking as many as five hours! It was raining in Mumbai this morning but that wasn’t going to stop the players in standing in the open-top bus to wave the Tri-Coloured flag proudly while some did the bhangra. One just cannot forget the enthusiastic crowd who made the entire procession a moment to cherish in Indian history.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni said that his team had brought Mumbai to a standstill because of their Championship victory. And that was true looking at the crowd that had turned out to appreciate the cricketers. The members of the team including the support staff were honoured by the BCCI and the Maharashtra Government in front of a huge crowd in the Wankhede Stadium. While each player got Rs. 80 Lakhs each, the Support Staff received checks of Rs. 15 Lakhs each. There was a special prize money for Yuvraj for his six sixers in a row against England.
Everything wasn’t that perfect from the organizers’ front with media critics mentioning that it was the politicians and the BCCI taking the front row which denied the fans to have a look at the real heroes. Only MS Dhoni had the privilege of being in the front row on the stage that was put up at the Wankhede. They were also the talk that the entire function looked like a political rally held by the National Congress Party headed by Mr. Sharad Pawar. When Dhoni had the opportunity to address the fans, it was back to cricket again. Dhoni started off with the wicket of Misbah-ul-Haq. The Indian Captain talking in Hindi said that he was expecting Misbah’s scoop to land behind Sreesanth and that he was looking at the fielder’s hands nervously. Dhoni had also praised the players who were coming from small towns saying that they are mentally and physically tougher than those coming from the metros.
Having won the World Championship, there are cash prizes raining on all the players from their respective state governments. The Captain MS Dhoni is going to receive the first ever ‘Jharkhand Ratna’ Award on the November 15 according to the Jharkhand Government. There is also a ‘Surprise Prize’ in store for MSD which will be revealed only on the 15th which happens to be the State’s Foundation Day.