West Bengal CM projects the IPL triumph as a new facet of her ‘paribartan'

Unprecedented scenes of celebrations were witnessed in the city for four hours when the State Government, Kolkata Municipal Corporation and the Cricket Association of Bengal felicitated the Kolkata Knight Riders team members here on Tuesday.

On a hot and humid day, thousands of people braved the conditions to line up the roadside during the team's 90-minute journey from Hazra Crossing to Writers' Buildings and then to the Eden Gardens where a full house joined the celebration.

The entire team was present along with support staff, except for three foreign players — Sunil Narain of the West Indies, Brett Lee of Australia and Jacques Kallis of South Africa.

The rest of the squad, including the Bangladesh's Shakib Al Hasan, soaked in the adulation of thousands following their first IPL triumph.

As the open bus carrying the players and the others reached the Writers' Buildings, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her cabinet colleagues joined in to felicitate all, including team co-owners, Shah Rukh Khan, Jay Mehta, Juhi Chawla and the others with scarves and mementos.

Hour-long programme

Ms. Banerjee joined the team on the bus to the Eden Gardens where a full house had assembled to witness an hour-long programme. The Chief Minister invited the governor, M.K. Narayanan, to present all the players and support staff with scarves.

Ms. Banerjee herself presented all the members of the team with a gold chain each, and asked Shah Rukh Khan and captain Gautam Gambhir to cut a huge cake, following which the entire team had a lap of honour with the IPL trophy, to thundering cheers from the spectators.

Surrounded by some of the notable cine stars of Bengal and others from the cultural scene, Ms. Banerjee seemed overwhelmed when Shah Rukh Khan said: “We have been waiting for this day.

“Thank you, Didi! Thank you, Kolkata! Thank you, West Bengal…on behalf of every member of the team. Only Kolkata will rule!”

On his part, Gambhir said: “Thank you, Didi. It is fantastic support that we have received from the people of Kolkata and Bengal.”

More In: Cricket | Sport