The triumphant Kolkata Knight Riders returned to their base to a hero’s welcome with thousands of supporters lining up at the airport, shouting team slogans and waving purple flags. It was KKR skipper Gautam Gambhir, who was the first to come out of the exit door with the glittering IPL trophy in the 1B terminal, as the team members followed the left-hander to the team bus amid boisterous chanting from the fans.
Bengal sports minister Madan Mitra and Cricket Association of Bengal officials were at the airport to receive the team as the members were garlanded and flower petals were showered on the team as they made their way to the team hotel on the EM
The KKR team will be given a “royal felicitation” jointly by the state government and CAB at the Eden Gardens on Tuesday afternoon in a reception which will be open to the fans.
The felicitation is expected to be on the lines of their felicitation at the same venue on May 29, two years ago when KKR had won their their maiden IPL title by winning the fifth edition.
The city franchise had lost five of their first seven matches but went on to win a record nine matches in a row to win their second title in two years.
The felicitation will be even better than the one accorded to the KKR after their maiden IPL triumph in the fifth edition, sports minister Madan Mitra told reporters here. KKR co-owner Shah Rukh Khan will arrive on Tuesday.
The hour-long extravaganza will begin at 1 pm and end with a cultural programme in which a host of celebrities would participate.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee, who left for Jalpaiguri in the morning arrived here on Monday night after rescheduling her programmes there to attend the ceremony at the Eden Gardens, Mitra said.
‘This win is phenomenal’
Off-spinner Sunil Narine told the IPL website: “This year was even better since we scripted a win chasing 200, which is no easy task. The guys have worked hard for this win and we totally deserve this moment. We did not have the best of starts this year, but we ended up with nine straight wins, which is phenomenal.”