Kolkata Knight Riders return to a rousing welcome

Indian Premier League winning Kolkata Knight Riders team returned to a rousing welcome here on Monday.

Updated: May 29, 2012 07:28 IST
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Kolkata: Indian Premier League winning Kolkata Knight Riders team returned to a rousing welcome here on Monday.

The team beat Chennai Super Kings to claim the title for the first time and were welcomed back by fans both inside and outside the airport.

Gautam Gambhir's three Bengali words "ami Kolkata r chele (I am son of the city)' won the hearts of fans gathered at NSC Bose International airport to welcome 'home' their Knight Riders.

Thousands of fans danced to drum beats and cheered the team, which arrived at 10:30 PM, for their maiden IPL success after five seasons.

The state ministers welcomed the team members with bouquets and garlands on a makeshift stage near the VIP gate No 5, close to the international terminal of the airport in Dum Dum.

Team CEO Venky Mysore hailed Gambhir and coach Trevor Bayliss for the success.

"Gambhir has done a fantastic job as a leader so was our coach...I am proud of the team. Thank you Kolkata for all the support," he said.

The fans waited patiently for their triumphant team members to arrive as their flight was delayed by more than two hours.

A makeshift stage was erected just outside the gate to welcome KKR co-owner Shah Rukh Khan and players, who arrived in two batches.

Slogans like 'Three cheers for KKR, hip hip hurrah', 'KKR. KKR', 'Shah Rukh. Shah Rukh' rent the air as fans dressed in KKR jersey and carrying purple flags gathered at the airport.

Many had come with lifesize posters of Shah Rukh Khan and team captain Gautam Gambhir. There were also posters with congratulatory messages.

There would be a grand felicitation of the team at the Eden Gardens tomorrow morning and the entry is free.

While the team will be part of a 6-kilometer victory rally starting from Hazra Crossing on Tuesday, co-owner Shah Rukh Khan will also show the trophy to chief minister Mamata Banerjee and other officials in a ceremony in front of the Writers Building. The trophy in fact will be showcased by SRK and his team in an open top vehicle which will end where the ceremony will take place.

A ceremony will also be held at the Eden Gardens and fans can get a glimpse of their stars and the trophy.

(With PTI inputs)

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