IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman rightfully received a hero's welcome when he arrived in India last night after palpable delay. Among the delighted millions in India was BCCI and they posted a special message for the pilot.
BCCI posted a special message on its official Twitter account, "#WelcomeHomeAbhinandan You rule the skies and you rule our hearts. Your courage and dignity will inspire generations to come #TeamIndia"
The text was accompanied by a picture of the new Indian jersey and on the back was written Wing Commander Abhinandan with the kit number 1. It perhaps signified that the IAF pilot is India's number one hero.
Virat Kohli also welcomed back Abhinandan and called him India's real hero and said, "I bow down to you. Jai Hind."
Meanwhile, Sachin Tendulkar tweeted, "A hero is more than just four letters. Through his courage, selflessness and perseverance, OUR HERO teaches us to have faith in ourselves #WelcomeHomeAbhinandan Jai Hind"
VVS Laxman also welcomed Abhinandan back to India by tweeting, "The nation salutes your valour , selflessness and grit. #WelcomeHomeAbhinandan"
India heaved a sigh of relief on Friday, March 1, as Indian Air Force pilot Abhinandan Varthaman held his head high and crossed over to the Indian side around 9:19 pm. However, his release from Pakistan was delayed by several hours because the pilot was reportedly asked to record a statement on camera by Pakistani authorities.
Donning a blue blazer and grey trousers, the IAF pilot crossed over to India via the Wagah-Attari border and was received by senior air force officers and his parents. Though he had a black eye and visible bruises on his right cheek, he appeared composed and told the Indian officials that it was "good to be back in my country."
The Indian cricket team unveiled their new jersey ahead of the World Cup and players of both, the men and women's team, were present at the launch.
"There is a certain importance and pride attached to this jersey. Everyone needs to realise that. You have to strive for excellence and show that you are obsessed to win every minute of the game. That's how you get that jersey," Indian captain Virat Kohli said at the launch.
Kohli will certainly hope his team can replicate his excellence and obsession to win in the ongoing ODI series against Australia as the Indian team look to fine-tune their preparations ahead of the World Cup. India will begin their World Cup campaign against South Africa on June 5 at the Rose Bowl in Southampton.