ISLAMABAD/PESHAWAR/LAHORE - Ten members of Champions Trophy winning Pakistan cricket team were accorded heroic welcome upon their arrival at four different cities on Tuesday.

SARFRAZ AND RUMMAN WELCOMED AT JINNAH INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT: Governor Sindh M Zubair, Provincial Sports Minister Sardar M Mahar, Mayor of Karachi Wasim Akhtar, MPAs, cricket personalities and enthusiasts received Sarfraz and Rumman Raees at Jinnah International Airport on Tuesday.

The Governor embraced Sarfraz as he disembarked congratulating him on Pakistan team's victory. He also presented bouquet to the skipper. Sindh Sports Minister Sardar Mahar and City Mayor Wasim Akhtar presented bouquet and the traditional Ajrak and Sindhi cap to both the players.

The cricket enthusiast showered flower petals and chanted slogans of ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ and ‘Jeeway Jeeway Pakistan’. A very large number of cheering fans had gathered at the Jinnah International Airport to greet Sarfraz and Rumman Raees. The authorities had made strict security arrangements at the airport on this very occasion.

Speaking at the airport, Sarfraz said with the blessings of Allah Almighty and prayers of the countrymen, Pakistan team won the ICC Trophy during the month of Ramazan. He also displayed the ICC Champions Trophy much to the delight of the cricket enthusiasts and others.

Governor Sindh, Muhammad Zubair said that the victory was a gift to the nation ahead of the Eid-ul-Fitr. From the airport, Sarfraz headed for the home located in Karachi's Buffer Zone area. On arrival, he was warmly received by relatives, friends and area people who raised the slogans of ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ and displayed national flags.

HASAN ALI, FAHEEM ASHRAF, BABAR AZAM AND AHMED SHEHZAD ACCORDED WELCOME AT ALLAMA IQBAL AIRPORT: A great number of fans reached the airports to give red-carpet reception to the heroes while many gathered outside their residences to celebrate the Champions Trophy victory. On the directives of the prime minister, top government officials were present at different venues to welcome the heroes and to acknowledge their valuable contribution in Pakistan team's historic victory against India in the Champions Trophy final.

Player of the tournament pacer Hasan Ali, fast bowler Faheem Ashraf and batsmen Babar Azam and Ahmed Shehzad were welcomed at the Allama Iqbal Airport in the wee hours here on Tuesday. Two team officials Shahid Aslam and Major Azhar were also with them.

Provincial Ministers Jahnagir Khanzada (Sports), Mujtaba Shuja-ur-Rehman (Excise and Taxation), Syed Ali Gillani (Higher Education), Rana Mashood Khan (Education) and Director General Sports Punjab Zulfiqar Ahmad Ghumman, family members, friends and a large number of game lovers gave red-carpet reception to the heroes. As soon as the champions came out of the airport lounge, they were profusely garlanded and flowers petals were showered on them. The cricket crazy fans started chanting slogans in favour of the team and country.

The players wholeheartedly interacted with the fans and also made selfies with them. When the players boarded their respective cars with their family members, they were once again honoured by the fans, who showered petals on their vehicles and also made selfies with them.

ROUSING RECEPTION FOR IMAD WASIM AND SHADAB KHAN AT BENAZIR INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT: Rousing welcome was given to Champions Trophy winning team members Imad Wasim and Shadab Khan. Despite clear instructions from federal government and especially from Punjab CM to accord warm welcome to Pakistani team members, none of the high-ranked Punjab officials or provincial or federal ministers bothered to pay visit to the airport to welcome Imad and Shadab. Only Mayor Rawalpindi Sardar Nasim Khan and Deputy Mayor Islamabad Syed Zeeshan Ali Naqvi were present there along with respectable size of commoners to welcome the heroes.

Ugly scenes were witnessed at the airport as families of Imad and Shadab were denied entry inside the premises and were humiliated by airport security. Despite Shadab’s brother Mehtab Khan and Imad’s father Syed Wasim Hadier Khan introduced them to the security personals, nobody allowed them entry.

Talking to the journalists, Shadab’s brother in law Imran said: “We have been at airport since 6am, but they were not letting us to welcome our brother. The airport authorities just played with our emotions and humiliated us. We were not allowed to enter Rawal Lounge to receive Shadab. We don’t want to stand on red carpet but just want to meet Shadab. Police was misbehaving and even pushing us, that is not the way of treating your national heroes’ families. Same was done with Imad’s family, as both the families were denied entry to Rawal Lounge.”

As soon as Imad and Shadab came out form the lounge, people started chanting slogans ‘Pakistan Zindabad’. Mayor Sardar Naseem and Syed Zeeshan Naqvi welcomed both the players. Speaking at the occasion, Imad’s father Syed Wasim said the youngsters had played out of their hearts and helped the team clinch the coveted trophy. “We are proud of them and we have made special arrangements at home for Imad.”

Sharing his views, Syed Zeeshan said he had played alongside Imad at club level. “It was my national and moral duty to be at the airport to welcome our heroes. I will soon host a grand reception in the honour of not only Imad but will also invite the entire team. It’s a huge honour for the people of twin cities that Imad and Shadab played key roles in helping the country clinch the trophy, which is the biggest gift of Eid for all of us.”

Sharing his views, Imad said: “Sarfraz done a tremendous job as a captain and truly led the team from the front. After given hammering in the first match against India, not only Sarfraz but the entire team management worked very hard with the players and after that, we all played like lions without any fear of defeat, the result of which was Champions Trophy win. It is my goal to help the team win matches. ICC Champions Trophy is a Eid gift to the nation.”

When asked about Amir Sohail’s comments, Imad refused to say anything rather just said Amir Sohail was our senior and he would not say anything against him. Imad confirmed that he was going to play Caribbean Premier League. “If we play for individual performances, then desired results are hard to come. Winning and losing is part of the game, but we should play for our team and the country.”

Sharing his views, Shadab said: “I am very happy that I performed well against India and I want to carry on with the good work. Seniors and team management gave me lot of confidence and I am looking forward to play leading role in helping Pakistan team scale down new heights.”

FAKHAR ZAMAN RECEIVED AT BACHA KHAN INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT: Champions’ team star batsman Fakhar Zaman was warmly received and garlanded soon after landed at Bacha Khan International Airport here on Tuesday as hundreds and thousands of his fans were present to see his single glimpse.

There were great number of his fans, relatives, well-wishers and members of the local association, his fans from his native village Katlang, situated from 80km away from the provincial capital Peshawar, came here to welcome Fakhar, who played a key role in Pakistan cricket team's success against arch-rival India. When Fakhar come out from the VVIP launch, the toned up police band along the vociferous spectators welcome him while a contingent of police escorted him.

Fakhar was escorted by Police with long procession including his relatives, fans from native villages. By reaching a village Katlang, fans thronged Fakhar's home right in the morning including his relatives, MPAs, MNAs and elite of the area. There were heavy police deployed around his home in village Katlang as well. Everyone from child to elders were there to see heroic Fakhar Zaman who made history in the cricket's record book.

His incredible century in the final against India will be remembered for long besides superb half-centuries against Sri Lanka and England were certainly a treat to watch. It will not be an exaggeration to say that his inclusion in the green shirts' playing XI has been one of the reasons of success in their road of ICC Champions Trophy 2017 final.

Expressing his views, Fakhar said it was like dream come true that they managed to win Champions Trophy. “Nothing could be better for Pakistani nation than this Eid present. I was upset when I edged and thinking about my dream of performing well against India is shattered, but when umpire stopped me to check whether it was a no-ball, I got relaxed and hoping for the best. I had dreamt about scoring a century against India and Allah has given me that opportunity to fulfil my childhood dream.

“I really enjoyed bashing Ashwin, who had been rated so highly, but I really loved to hit him hard. It was decided in the meeting before the final that we will play aggressive cricket,” he added.

“I am thankful to people for giving me such wonderful welcome. Indian players’ behaviour was very nice and cooperative. I was given real beating by my elder brother for playing cricket in the early part of life. When I talked to mother before the final, she urged me to play cool and composed cricket rather than hitting sixes. I am thankful to my coach Bakht Muhamamd, who is an inspiration for me since childhood and today whatever I achieved is due to his hard work and motivation, I attribute this success to my coach Bakht Muhamamd,” Fakhar concluded.