In a scene straight out of a Bollywood blockbuster, the Pakistan Cricket Team received a red-carpet-worthy welcome at the Hyderabad airport as they arrived for the much-anticipated World Cup 2023. With tight security measures ensuring their safe passage to the team bus, the players were met with a frenzy of fervent fans, enthusiastic chants, and an electrifying atmosphere.
As the Pakistan Cricket Team disembarked from their flight, the fervour of cricket-crazy fans reached fever pitch. It was, of course, the display of affection by the Indian paparazzi that stole the show. Having previously showered the likes of Tom “Tommy” Holland and Nick “Nickwa” Jonas with love, Indian paps have a new muse, and they call him “Babar Bhai.”
As the paparazzi crowds called out to Babar Azam, the cricketing powerhouse didn’t disappoint the adoring crowd. With a bright, albeit confused smile, he acknowledged the passionate fans by waving and occasionally stopping to interact with them. As Babar waved, the newlywed Shaheen Shah Afridi was seen engaging in some light banter with a few security officials who, it turns out, were also fans in disguise.
Naturally, in this age of instant sharing and meme culture, videos of these interactions with the paparazzi and security officials quickly made their way to social media. The result? A hilarious onslaught of fan edits and memes. “Welcome to India, Babar Azam and Team Pakistan,” shared one X user, with edited videos of the team being welcomed into the neighbouring country. Rahat Fateh Ali Khan’s emotionally evocative vocals served as the perfect soundscape for the moment.
“Man, these guys deserved this hospitality,” said another user of the microblogging site, sharing a video of Babar wearing an orange dupatta, and interacting with admirers.
Another X user noted the chants that surrounded the team, stating, “To be very honest, I didn’t expect such a great welcome of our team in India. The chants of ‘Babar, Babar’ on the road and at the airport were so [heartwarming]. This is the epitome of what you see on social media isn’t the entire truth.”
In another video, fans and paps alike can be seen swarming the team, with appreciation for Haris Rauf at the forefront. “Haris Rauf…he looks so good,” a man can be heard saying in Hindi. To this, another X user shared that the proclamation will live their head “rent-free for the unforeseeable future.”
Naturally, memes were shared as well. One X user said, “The moment Babar Azam stepped on Indian soil,” supplementing it with a video of industrialisation and agriculture booming upon the touch of a man.
One user shared a recently viral video of Rakhi Sawant walking past a man who wanted to take a picture with her. “Babar bhai at the airport,” the caption stated. The user also bemoaned, “Give us the chance to shout, ‘Virat Bhai, Rahul Bhai’ too please.”
It’s safe to say that the Pakistan Cricket Team’s warm reception at the Hyderabad airport has not only won the hearts of cricket fans but also created a delightful moment of camaraderie between cricketing rivals. As the World Cup 2023 kicks off, the excitement on and off the field promises to be as electrifying as ever.
Have something to add? Share it in the comments