IPL 8: Mumbai Indians party with fans at the Wankhede stadium
One expected the Wankhede Stadium to turn into a sea of blue, just like the Kolkata Knight Riders supporters who thronged the Eden Gardens after their triumph in the last Indian Premier League.
Mumbai Indians' team owner Nita Ambani with her IPL-8 champs at Wankhede yesterday. Pic/Suresh KK
Although it wasn't a sea of blue as has been the case throughout the seven IPL matches at the Mumbai Indians' home ground, the excitement and enthusiasm, backed by thumping music, was enough to give Mumbai Indians a memorable reception after winning the IPL title for the second time on Sunday in Kolkata.
The players, who were to arrive 'in a few minutes', according to the Disc Jockey, finally hit the ground after almost a 45-minute wait. The Mumbai Indians stars, waving the team flag and led by team owner Nita Ambani, made their way on to the ground for a victory lap.
Though Sachin Tendulkar was not a part of the team this IPL, the Wankhede crowd showed that their love for him will never die. The loudest cheer was once again reserved for him when he was called to speak after Ambani.
Tendulkar won the spectators' hearts further when he addressed them in Marathi. He acknowledged the crowd for their relentless support to the Mumbai Indians despite a poor start to IPL-8. Tendulkar lauded MI's character.
Rohit's real home
MI skipper Rohit Sharma may have a special liking for the Eden Gardens, but the stylish right-hander too won Mumbaikars' hearts.
"More than anything else, I like Mumbai," he said in response to whether the Kolkata ground is dearer to him. "This is where I started my career. Nothing comes closer to this ground."
Kieron Pollard, in his true Caribbean style, said he wouldn't mind upsetting the opposition if Mumbai Indians wins more championships. "Mumbai is a home away from home for the last six years. I will try entertaining the crowd more.
I will tape my mouth, give more trouble to the opposition and win more matches for MI," said Pollard. The icing on the cake was when the underprivileged kids of Ambani's social initiative Education for All brought the IPL trophy on stage to present it to Rohit.