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India cricketers feted in victory parade in Mumbai after winning Twenty20 World Cup

NEW DELHI — Tens of thousands of jubilant fans poured onto Mumbai’s Marine Drive to cheer India’s new world cricket champions when they returned home on Thursday.

India beat South Africa in a tight finish in the Twenty20 World Cup final last weekend in Barbados for their first world cricket title in 13 years.

Skipper Rohit Sharma and Hardik Pandya held the coveted trophy in an open bus convoy to Wankhede stadium, where they were to participate in celebrations organized by the Board of Control for Cricket in India.

Fans danced, waved the India flag, and flashed smartphone lights after waiting for hours to glimpse Sharma, Virat Kohli and the other cricket stars.

The victorious squad landed in New Delhi early Thursday on a charter flight from Barbados. They met Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his residence and later left for Mumbai.

Hundreds of supporters were gathered at New Delhi International Airport, many of them chanting “India, India” as the players came out and boarded a bus.

There were hundreds more waiting at the hotel to continue the celebrations, which started on Saturday as soon as the final was won. Some of the players danced to drum beats when they reached their hotel.

The team’s return from the Caribbean was delayed because of a shutdown in Barbados forced by Hurricane Beryl.

“It’s a lifetime experience,” cricket official Arun Dhumal said.

The T20 triumph was India’s first World Cup title since 2011, when it won the 50-over version.

The BCCI has announced a cash bonus of 1.25 billion rupees ($15 million) for the winning squad.

Soon after winning the title, Sharma, Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja announced their retirement from T20 internationals.

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AP cricket: https://apnews.com/hub/cricket

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