You rule the skies and you rule our hearts: BCCI welcomes IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman
The entire country is rejoicing and celebrating the return of Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman as the Indian Air Force pilot crossed over the Indian border at around 9.20 pm on Friday.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and sports fraternity took to Twitter to welcome Wing Commander Abhinandan, who stepped on the India soil from Attari-Wagah border in Amritsar, Punjab, where thousands had been waiting for hours to have a glimpse of the brave IAF officer.
Minutes after Abhinandan crossed the border and was received by Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Indian Army, the BCCI posted a special message for him on their official Twitter handle with has the name of the IAF pilot engraved on Team India jersey.
Welcoming the pilot, the BCCI tweeted: “#WelcomeHomeAbhinandan You rule the skies and you rule our hearts. Your courage and dignity will inspire generations to come #TeamIndia.”
Former Indian skipper and cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar also welcomed Abhinandan and tweeted, “A hero is more than just four letters. Through his courage, selflessness and perseverance, OUR HERO teaches us to have faith in ourselves. #WelcomeHomeAbhinandan Jai Hind.”
Team India captain Virat Kohli in his Twitter wrote “Real Hero. I bow down to you. Jai Hind”.
Former India coach, Anil Kumble, in a tweet, said: “We salute your bravery #WelcomeHomeAbhinandan.”
Ace Indian tennis player, Sania Mirza tweeted: “Welcome back Wing Commander Abhinandan .. you are our HERO in the truest sense.. The country salutes you and the bravery and dignity you have shown #Respect #WelcomeBackAbinandan Jai Hind.”
Other cricketers like Gautam Gambhir, Virendra Sehwag, VVS Laxman, Rohit Sharma kept flooding Twitter with congratulatory messages throughout the day, welcoming Abhinandan.
Ace Indian tennis player Sania Mirza, who is married to Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik, also posted a heartwarming message for Abhinandan following his return to India.
“Welcome back Wing Commander Abhinandan .. you are our HERO in the truest sense.. The country salutes you and the bravery and dignity you have shown #Respect #WelcomeBackAbinandan Jai Hind,” Sania Mirza tweeted.
On Wednesday, Wing Commander Abhinandan, while flying the MiG 21 Bison, was chasing Pakistani F-16 fighters, which had transgressed into the Indian airspace, and in the process, his plane crossed over to Pakistani side and was shot down. He ejected safely but was taken into custody by the Pakistan Army upon landing. Before his plane was shot, he had hit a Pakistani F-16.
Wearing blue blazer and grey ‘khaki’ trouser, he crossed over into India from Attari-Wagah border at 9:20 pm. He was handed over by the Pakistan Rangers to the BSF following paperwork.
Wing Commander Abhinandan was accompanied by an officer of the Pakistan Foreign Office and Indian Defence Attaché Group Captain Joy Thomas Kurien. ANI
— BCCI (@BCCI) March 1, 2019
Real Hero. I bow down to you. Jai Hind 🙏🙏🇮🇳🇮🇳 pic.twitter.com/kDgocwpclA
— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) March 1, 2019
A hero is more than just four letters. Through his courage, selflessness and perseverance, OUR HERO teaches us to have faith in ourselves.#WelcomeHomeAbhinandan
Jai Hind 🇮🇳
— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) March 1, 2019
— Sania Mirza (@MirzaSania) March 1, 2019
We salute your bravery #WelcomeHomeAbhinandan 🇮🇳
— Anil Kumble (@anilkumble1074) March 1, 2019