New Delhi: There will be no ticker-tape parade for the world champion Indian under-19 team when it lands in Mumbai by an Emirates flight EK 506 at 2 pm on Tuesday, but they would be accorded “suitable and appropriate welcome”.
N Srinivasan, president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), informed on Monday that the Unmukt Chand-led team would be received at the airport in a fitting manner. “There would no parade. But the team would be received warmly when it arrives in Mumbai,” Srinivasan told MAIL TODAY. The BCCI has already announced a cash award of Rs 20 lakh each for the 15 players and Rs 15 lakh each to members of the support staff. India beat hosts Australia by six wickets in the World Cup final on Sunday.
“There would a suitable and appropriate felicitation function for the team at a later date. We are chalking out the programme at the moment,” Srinivasan said.
The BCCI had welcomed the senior Indian team in a grand manner after their World T20 triumph in 2007. When the players landed in Mumbai from South Africa, they were taken from the airport to the Wankhede Stadium in an open top bus.
Even the intermittent rain failed to deter tens of thousands of delirious fans from queuing up on both sides of the road, excitedly waving at players and running along the vehicle.
The Sharad Pawar-headed BCCI organised a felicitation function immediately after the team reached the stadium there following a long and slow journey. It is, however, a different issue that the Board officials present at the function were heavily criticised for occupying the front seats while the players stood at the back.
Dhoni’s boys were felicitated a second time, at the Ferozeshah Kotla in Delhi, but that function too turned out to be chaotic as many unwanted people besieged the stadium turf.
Then, last year when the Dhoni-led team won the 50-over World Cup, the players called on the then President Pratibha Patil at the Governor House in Mumbai. Later, the BCCI felicitated the team at its annual awards function, also in Mumbai.
Meanwhile, Sarkar Talwar, coach of the 1995 under-15 World Cup-winning side, said that the under-19 players would provide good bench strength to the senior team.
“I feel India is going to rule world cricket — it’s actually ruling even at present — as it has a very good bench strength now. Any country’s future in junior and senior cricket would be safe if it has a good bench strength,” Talwar, who played 106 firstclass matches for Haryana and captained the team in Ranji Trophy, told MAIL TODAY.
“I felt good watching Unmukt’s team performing so well in Australia. While watching the final, my mind went back 17 years ago, when the Mohammed Kaif-led team won the u-15 Lombard World
Cup,” said the reputed off-spinner whose 21-year long first-class career began in 1967.