Sea of humanity welcomes Team India during Champions’ Parade in Mumbai

The distance of Marine Drive to Wankhede Stadium off the Churchgate station, which is of a few minutes took several hours.
Last Updated : 04 July 2024, 15:27 IST

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Mumbai: Braving rains and humidity, a sea of humanity poured into the iconic Marine Drive off the picturesque Arabian Sea as the victorious Team India - the T20 World Champions - was accorded a heroic welcome in Mumbai on Thursday. 

The full-throated trademark "India!! India!!" chants led to an adrenaline rush - and the celebrations could be heard several kilometres away. 

There were cheers and tears as cricket fans waved the national tricolour as the men-in-blues led by skipper Rohit Sharma travelled in an open-deck double-decker bus even as the players displayed the trophy. 

Sharma was joined by coach Rahul Dravid and players including legends like Virat Sharma.

The Maharashtrian dhol-tasha, tutari and lezim were played even as patriotic songs rent the air welcoming the team as they arrived in Mumbai after meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi.

As the team landed  at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport in Mumbai by special flight – Vistara UK 1845 - a 'water salute' was accorded to it at the runway making Rohit and company feeling special. 

The number 1845 symbolised the jersey numbers of Sharma and Kohli, considered among the top batters of the world. 

They came out of a tricolour draped aero-bridge even as flower petals were showered at the arrival gate. 

Hundreds of fans had assembled at the airport to welcome the winning team.

The cavalcade led by the team bus moved from Western Express Highway to the Bandra-Worli Sea Link and then Nariman Point. 

To cheer the team, BCCI President Roger Binny, Secretary Jay Shah and Vice President Rajeev Shukla too wore the India blue jersey and travelled in the open deck team bus, which was used in the final stretch. 

Lakhs of excited fans and cricket lovers lined up the one-km picturesque Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Road, popularly known as the Marine Drive aka Queen’s Necklace. 

The distance between Marine Drive to Wankhede Stadium off the Churchgate station, which is of a few minutes, took several hours.

In the evening, as the Queen’s Necklace lit up, the revellers too used the flashlights of their phones to wave at the team.

The players were seen taking selfies and photographing the crowd - as they witnessed the never-experienced-before welcome after winning the grand trophy. The players also danced to the tunes of Nashik-dhols. 

People took selfies with the team bus and tried to spot and cheered their favourite players.

The crowds cheered with slogans like  ‘We Love You, Team India’, ‘Team India Zindabad’, ‘Mumbai-cha Raja….Rohit Sharma’, and more at various locations en route, marking the joy as the World Cup came to India after a gap of 17 years (after T20 championship) and 11 years (after 13 years). Both these teams were led by the legendary Mahendra Singh Dhoni. 

People were seen in the Marine Drive promenade, pathways and road, terraces, balconies, windows and some even on the tree cheering for the leaders of the cricketing-nation.  

The players responded with flying kisses. 

Several team members of the winning team are part of the Mumbai Indians like Rohit Sharma, Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah and Suryakumar Yadav - and they responded to their fans.

People pushed, shoved, barged into each other but it was all smiles! - as the day was special. 

People carried posters of the Team India squad members and the trophy winning photo. 

As the jubilation at the Marine Drive drew to a close, one could see plastic water bottles and some torn footwear. 

Published 04 July 2024, 15:27 IST

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