ISLAMABAD – The Pakistani cricket team that trounced India in the high-octane final clash of Champions Trophy 2017 arrived back home in scattered groups earning respect and well-deserved welcome from cricket fans.
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The captain Sarfraz Ahmed landed back in Karachi early Tuesday but his house was swarmed with people even before his arrival.
Roads leading to and from the captain’s house were jam-packed with supporters who kept awake to catch a glimpse of the victorious champ.
The enthusiasm of cricket fans, rare in the case of Pakistan, was captured and widely shared as Pakistan won the title for the first time in history.
Apart from Sarfaraz, several other cricketers including Fakhar Zaman, who’s performance sealed victory on Sunday was warmly welcomed.
Zaman was showered with petals and fans gathered outside Peshawar airport amid roars of “Pakistan Zinbabad”.
Talking to newsmen from his home in Mardan, Zaman said it was his dream to score a century in the final against India, adding the team had decided in a meeting before the final that they would play aggressively.
Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan and Junaid Khan arrived in Islamabad where a fleet of policemen gave a guard of honour to the three players at the airport.
“I wanted to play for the team, not for myself. The first priority is to make the team win,” Imad Wasim said speaking to reporters.
“Sarfaraz bhai is an excellent captain, I have been playing with him for ten years,” he added.
Former Interior Minister and PPP stalwart Rehman Malik, present at the airport to welcome the players home, congratulated the national team and the country.
Earlier, Ahmed Shehzad, Hassan Ali and Fahim Ashraf arrived at the Allama Iqbal International Airport Lahore. They were received by provincial sports minister Jahangir Khanzada, minister for school education Rana Mashood, Food Minister Bilal Yasin, Minister Higher Education Ali Raza Gillani and assistant to chief minister Punjab, Muhammad Malik and Mayor Lahore Col. (retd) Mubashir besides scores of other cricket-frenzy supporters.
It bears mentioning that some of the Pakistani players including Shoaib Malik did not arrive back in Pakistan due to personal engagements.
Green Shirts outperformed their arch-rivals India on Sunday in a high-octane clash at Oval by a staggering 180 runs to clinch the title of Champions Trophy for the fist time in history stunning cricket experts across the globe.