Victorious Vidarbha Ranji team arrives to a rousing welcome

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 04 Jan 2018 10:20:51


By Anupam Soni

HERE they come!The heroes are back home.
The history-scripting Vidarbha cricket team that won its maiden Ranji Trophy title crushing Delhi by nine wickets on the New Year Day at Holkar Stadium in Indore, were accorded a huge and warm reception at the Nagpur Airport on Wednesday evening.

It was a happy chaos as family members of the players, all the top VCA officials, directors of various cricket academies, sports teachers representing schools the players once studied at, and the die-hard fans lined up (read thronged near the arrival gate) to welcome the new-found stars of he city.

First person Mayor Nandatai Jichkar, MLA Sudhakar Deshmukh, VCA President Adv Anand Jaiswal, Vice-President Prashant Vaidya Secretary BS Bhatti led the team of VCA officials who had arrived much before the scheduled arrival of the GoAir Mumbai to Nagpur flight. The players were to arrive in the city by 4.50 pm but tense situation Mumbai had forced the authorities to cancel that flight.

Two (sandal) bands started operating as soon as it was learnt that the flight had landed. For about fifty minutes, with a couple of breaks lasting hardly few seconds, it was non-stop high decibel drum beats filling the cool winter air. The sizeable gathering was enjoying every bit of it as youngsters danced. A couple of banners congratulated the team, one read ‘Faiz ka Balla...Vidarbha ka Jalwa’ while other read...‘Next Goal Irani Trophy’.

Faiz’s father Yakub led the Fazal clan, family members of Akshay Wadkar—younger brother Alok, mother Aruna, cousin sisters; Aditya Sarvate—grandfather Shyam, grandmother Sheela; R Sanjay—mother Latha, father Raghunathan Ramaswamy, younger brother Ajay; Siddhesh Neral - father Sunil and mother Varsha, Siddhesh Wath - father Kishor, were prominently present.
Faiz was first welcomed by the top VCA officials, Jichkar and Deshmukh.

The team was led out of the arrival lounge by Neral, who could not stop himself from dancing and was the first one to enter the bus shaking a leg. Players were garlanded as they entered the bus. Confetti shots added vibrant colours to occasion and so were the rose petals that were showered over the ‘demi-gods’.

There were chants of ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’, ‘Vande Matram’,
‘Ganpati Bappa Morya... Mangalmurti Morya’ but surprisingly there was none on Vidarbha!
Faiz was the last one to enter the bus. He presented the waiting photo-journalists an opportunity by holding the replica of the Ranji Trophy, that will be with the VCA for ever, before saying “Thank You” and closing the door.
From the airport, the team was taken to Civil Lines Stadium for a small reception. Bursting crackers welcomed the players.

Faiz, Jaiswal, Bhatti and Vaidya jointly cut the cake as the gathering mostly comprising family members of the players and VCA officials, hailed the team.
Swing sensation Rajneesh Gurbani, who was declared man of the match in the quarter-finals, semi-final and the final, coach Chandrakant Pandit and professionals Wasim Jaffer and Karn Sharma did not arrive with the team. Pandit and Jaffer stayed back at their home town in Mumbai while Sharma had flown to Delhi.

VCA has planned a gala function on January 5 to celebrate the historic occasion. NMC’s Nagesh Sahare, Sharad Padhye, Madhav Bakre, Ravi Kulkarni, DSO Avinash Pund, Sunny Dudani, Shivani Dani, Mama Pande, Manish Doshi, AG team were among others who were present at the airport.


Real feeling of winning came today: Faiz

VIDARBHA lifted the coveted Ranji Trophy on Monday but skipper Faiz Fazal was really happy with the way the city received the team upon their arrival on Wednesday.
“Everybody likes to be among own people. The real feeling of winning came today when we were received by our people at our own place. We are all very happy,” said Faiz at VCA, Civil Lines, where the team cut a cake to celebrate the victory.

Flight cancellation leads to anxiety

WITH tension in Mumbai, the original flight that was to bring Vidarbha players was cancelled.
The fans were as curious as the family members of the players to learn bout their arrival in the city. The family members of the players who could not talk to VCA officials about the arrival contacted ‘The Hitavada’. Some fans called up the office and some even directly approached the office to know the latest details.