Alastair Cook, the visiting captain, appeared a bit surprised by the heavy dash of colour, noise and the huge crowd that turned out to welcome the England and India teams at the Kochi international airport on Saturday evening.
Kathakali and Theyyam artists were the first to greet the England captain as soon as he stepped out of the arrival longue and then there were young Mohiniyattam dancers and panchavadyam performers as Kerala spread out a traditional welcome for the two teams which will be playing the January 15 one-day international at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here on Tuesday.
The flight from Rajkot was delayed by an hour and landed around 6.45 p.m. and the crowd, around 1500, waited patiently for a glimpse of their stars. The Indian team was the first to arrive and the loudest cheers were reserved for Yuvaraj Singh, Virat Kohli and captain M.S. Dhoni and the visitor’s star Kevin Pietersen.
The teams arrived under tight security and nearly 200 cops were present to handle the crowd.