Karachi - Hundreds of fans gave Pakistan captain Sarfraz
Ahmed a hero's welcome as he arrived home carrying the Champions Trophy early
Men, women and children packed Karachi airport as Sarfraz
returned from England, where Pakistan thrashed arch-rivals India to be crowned
Sarfraz held up the trophy to loud cheers and chants of
"Long live Sarfraz!" as a police band played patriotic songs nearby.
"(We won) thanks to Allah and the prayers of the whole
nation," Ahmed said in brief comments as he jostled his way through the
crowd of well-wishers.
Pakistan's victory by 180 runs on Sunday has sparked
widespread celebrations in the country, where cricket is the number one sport.
Sarfraz was showered with bouquets and given a traditional
skull cap and an 'ajrak' shawl, which is usually presented as a mark of honour.
Senior local officials also turned up to greet the captain
before he was whisked away under escort by police commandos along with
team-mate Rumman Raees.
Sarfraz's residential block in central Karachi was adorned
with colourful lights and Pakistan flags, while fans climbed on rooftops and
balconies to watch him return home.