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Watch: Noise and good wishes galore as Virat Kohli and Co. take off for England

Team India departed for England to play the 2019 World Cup (Twitter: @imro45)


  • Team India left for the 2019 World Cup on Wednesday morning
  • A large crowd gathered and cheered for their favourite stars at the Mumbai airport
  • India start their World Cup cmapaign against South Africa on June 5

IPL crowds throng cricket stadiums but that fervour pales in comparison to the nationalistic emotion a World Cup campaigns generate. This was quite evident when a bunch of bystanders at Mumbai international airport on wee hours of Wednesday morning suddenly turned into a thousand on the realization that it was Virat and co taking off for England to attempt another shot at the coveted crown.

There were so many mobile cameras scrambling for pictures; the assembled crowd made a noise loud enough to match a stadium feel of a bus stand.

Earlier the Indian touring party smartly dressed in official team blazers left together in the team bus as per protocol, even though only a five-minute road distance separated team hotel and the airport.

Captain Virat having mastered the art of avoiding eye contact with the crowd, marched away in the team bus even as the ‘Chak de India’ number play loud in the backdrop. “How’s the Josh? asked the crowd. Should be High’ given the kind of rapport, captain and coach enjoy. Head coach Ravi Shastri had earlier in his pre-departure press talk, spoken about the need for ‘not playing a World Cup match any differently’.

Jokes and giggles continued as the usual late-entry suspects trickled into the team bus. Shikhar Dhawan knows all about scoring big runs in an ICC tournament but still hasn’t perfected the art of tying his tie. Fielding coach R Sridhar helping him with the knots.

Sakshi Dhoni was present in person to see off her husband as he took off for what will be his fourth World Cup campaign. Players’ families will only be joining the team, twenty days after reaching the UK as per policy laid out by BCCI.

Earlier in the afternoon, captain Virat Kohli was the cynosure of all eyes when he arrived in his Bentley at the BCCI headquarters. Virat also had time to seek blessings of his childhood coach Rajkumar Sharma when he followed his press talk with a quick chat with the coach at the Wankhede stadium premises. He predicted the upcoming World Cup to be ‘the most challenging’ of his career.

With the aid of their twelfth man like the noisy Bharat Army bunch who had assembled at the airport late in the night, to cheer them off, Virat’s men, to start with stand with a very good chance to make England – a home away from home.

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