Kolkata, June 3 (IANS) The Eden Gardens’ green turf here was deluged in a sea of purple as nearly 30,000 fans waited to welcome home team Kolkata Knight Riders, winners of this year’s Indian Premier League. A troupe of dhaakis (drummers) and tribal dancers added to the frenzied atmosphere inside the arena. Fans clad in KKR jerseys matched steps to the beat of drums and waved around flags and flyers.
With stars from the Bengali film industry in attendance, and popular Bangla folk-rock band Bhoomi’s singer Soumitra Roy striking the right notes, the stage has been set for the arrival of the Knights as well as team owner and Bollywood superstar Shahrukh Khan and co-owner Juhi Chawla. The hour-long programme – jointly organised by the state government, Kolkata Police, Kolkata Municipal Corporation and the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) – is being attended by a number of state ministers, former cricketers and other sports personalities and cultural icons from the state.
Trays filled with Alphonso mangoes were laid aside, to be later handed over to the players as well as the team owners. Gold rings and the famous Bengali sweetmeat ‘sandesh’ were on offer too.