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Unforgettable day for T20 WC champions: Vande Mataram, Rohit-Kohli dance, Pandya's redemption & more (WATCH)

A vibrant celebration at Mumbai's Wankhede Stadium marks the T20 World Cup-winning Indian cricket team's victory parade, featuring emotional moments, fan fervor, and impromptu dances by players amidst chants of national pride.

Unforgettable day for T20 WC champions: Vande Mataram, Rohit-Kohli dance, Pandya's redemption & more (WATCH) snt
First Published Jul 4, 2024, 10:59 PM IST

An enormous crowd flooded Marine Drive in South Mumbai to celebrate the T20 World Cup-winning Indian team's victory parade, creating a spectacle that brought traffic to a standstill. Thousands of passionate fans gathered to catch a glimpse of their favorite stars, transforming the streets into a sea of cheering supporters.

The open bus parade, which started from Nariman Point's National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA) after a delay, commenced around 7:30 pm and proceeded towards Wankhede Stadium. Normally a five-minute journey, the parade took over an hour and a half as players soaked in the overwhelming love and adulation from their devoted fans, rather than rain.

Also read: T20 WC champions' victory parade: Internet stunned as fan spotted on tree close to Team India's bus (WATCH)

At Wankhede Stadium, following their T20 World Cup victory, the team sang the National Anthem. BCCI officials presented Team India with a Rs 125 crore cheque, prompting fans to erupt in singing Vande Mataram. The celebrations included an impromptu dance by Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and others, adding to the festive atmosphere.

T20 World Cup trophy belongs to the nation: Rohit Sharma

For Rohit Sharma, who was the youngest member of Mahendra Singh Dhoni's iconic 2007 squad and now leads the T20 World Champion Indian cricket team at 37, the victory parade must have evoked a strong sense of déjà vu. As the oldest member of the current team, he has been a constant presence over the past fifteen years, witnessing changes around him while maintaining his leadership role.

Amid chants of "Mumbaicha Raja, Rohit Sharma" ("Who's the King of Mumbai? Rohit Sharma"), the bus journey through the throngs surely brought back memories of Mumbai's rainy September morning in 2007, marking another memorable milestone in his illustrious career.

"This (crowd) tells that the desperation we had to win was similar to the desperation which the fans had. The win has brought smiles on faces of crores of people. This is a special team and this trophy belongs to the nation," Rohit said while addressing the fans inside the stadium.

Never seen Rohit so emotional in 15 years: Virat Kohli

Meanwhile, Virat Kohli, addressing the packed audience at Wankhede during the team’s felicitation ceremony, shared that he had never seen Rohit Sharma so emotional in their 15-year association. He recalled the moment Rohit hugged him, tears in his eyes, after the T20 World Cup victory.

"This is the first time in 15 years that I have seen Rohit show so much emotion. When we were climbing those steps (at Kensington Oval) he was crying and I was crying," Kohli said during the ceremony after a memorable open bus victory parade.

At the same venue years ago, a 21-year-old Kohli had expressed that it was only fitting to lift the maestro Sachin Tendulkar on their shoulders after he had carried the weight of Indian cricket for 21 years.

Now at 35, standing once more on the revered turf, Kohli, who recently announced his retirement from the shortest format after clinching the trophy, expressed his hope that he and his captain had shouldered the responsibility well for 15 years and successfully brought the Cup home.

"I hope we (Rohit and I) have carried the burden and no better to bring it (trophy) back here (Wankhede)," said Kohli, who knew during the innings break of the final that this was his last game.

As the youngest member of the class of 2011, he witnessed Sachin Tendulkar, Harbhajan Singh, and Yuvraj Singh overcome with emotion, their tears flowing freely. At that time, perhaps he didn't fully grasp where all that emotion came from. But now, he does.

"I couldn't connect with the emotions of the senior players who cried that night but now I do," said Indian cricket team's current elder statesman.

Redemption for Hardik Pandya

Hardik Pandya found genuine acceptance following his stellar T20 World Cup campaign, notably being the first to lift the trophy and proudly display it to the fans.

Once scorned as a "Mumbai Indian," he was now embraced by Mumbai as simply "Indian." The city's fervent passion overflowed for the charismatic "Baroda Bomber," now a beloved resident who has found a home in Mumbai.

Seeking validation and unconditional support, Pandya found Mumbai ready to embrace him once more, perhaps seeing the rainfall as a collective apology for earlier criticisms during the IPL season.

The players soaked in the frenzy and nationwide euphoria, a testament to the country's deep affection for its cricketers, sometimes even surpassing its love for the sport itself.

Fans eagerly awaited a glimpse of Virat Kohli, reminiscent of the lines penned by Majrooh Sultanpuri, "Bekararon ki Dawa Ek Nazar, Ek Nazar," capturing the sentiments of those who had traveled from Virar to Thane and beyond just to witness the celebrations.

The King did not disappoint. Leading the way, he joined the skipper, Suryakumar Yadav, and Axar Patel in a lively dance to the beats of Nashik Dholwalas at Wankhede Stadium upon their arrival, further elevating the jubilant atmosphere.

Earlier, the Indian team departed from New Delhi around 3:42 pm after a breakfast meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, having returned from Barbados in the early hours.

At Wankhede Stadium, gates were quickly opened for eager fans who filled the stands within minutes to celebrate the team's victorious championship.

Upon landing at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport's Terminal 2, their aircraft received the traditional 'Water Salute'.

Exiting the airport amidst a sea of fans and media who had been waiting for several hours, the players were greeted with overwhelming enthusiasm.

Also read: BCCI presents 'Namo 1' Champions jersey to PM Modi after his meeting with T20 WC-winning team; pic goes viral

Despite intermittent rain, high humidity, and logistical challenges, thousands of fans remained glued to their seats at the stadium, entertained by a DJ playing songs spanning various genres. At one point, it resembled a festive rain-dance party as Wankhede's speakers blared hits like the Vengaboys' "To Brazil" and the unofficial sports anthem of the country, "Chak de India".

Wankhede Stadium soon reverberated with familiar chants of 'Sachin... Sachin' and 'Mumbaicha Raja, Rohit Sharma!', followed by resounding cries of 'India... India', marking the vibrant celebration of the team's success.

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