ICC Champions Trophy 2017: Pakistan Captain Sarfraz Ahmed Gets Hero's Welcome
Pakistan, who entered the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 as World No. 8, thrashed arch-rivals India in a high-octane final to lift the title at The Oval.
Hundreds of fans gave the victorious Pakistan's team captain Sarfraz Ahmed a hero's welcome as he arrived home carrying the Champions Trophy on Tuesday. Pakistan, who entered the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 as World No. 8, thrashed arch-rivals India in a high-octane final to lift the title at The Oval Sarfraz held up the trophy to loud cheers and chants of "Long live Sarfraz!" as a police band played patriotic songs nearby.
"(We won) thanks to Allah and the prayers of the whole nation," Ahmed said.
The win has been a long overdue boost after a several years of poor results, particularly in the limited-overs formats.
Sarfraz was showered with bouquets and given a traditional skull cap and an 'ajrak' shawl, which is usually presented as a mark of honour.
Senior local officials also turned up to greet the captain before he was whisked away under escort by police commandos along with team-mate Rumman Raees.
The celebrations did not end once he reached his residential block in central Karachi, adorned with colourful lights and Pakistan flags, where fans climbed on rooftops and balconies to watch him return.
Sarfraz came out on the balcony with the trophy and showed it off to fans, waving and making the victory sign with two fingers as the crowds outside threw rose petals.
"First of all I would like to thank God, I think this is a big victory for the whole Pakistani public," he told reporters."
The Pakistan team enjoyed a remarkable turnaround after widespread criticism followed a 124-run drubbing by India in the opening group match.
Pakistan went on to outplay hosts and trophy favourites England in an eight-wicket semi-final win before their epic final triumph against the Indians.
"All the boys worked very hard, after losing that first match, the way the boys made the comeback is remarkable," said Sarfraz.
(With AFP inputs)