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Tens of thousands of people turned out on the streets of Kolkata on Tuesday to receive the Kolkata Knight Riders team, returning home as IPL winners. The political leadership, top actors and musicians, and the local cricket establishment - including former ICC president Jagmohan Dalmiya - joined the team in the celebrations.
The team began with a five-kilometre open-top parade from the Hazra area of south Kolkata to Writers' Buildings, the seat of government; the crowds - estimated at more than 50,000 - were packed ten and sometimes 20 people deep, with many more on rooftops and balconies. After a short function there, the team headed for Eden Gardens, which had been thrown open to the public for free entry.
At Eden Gardens, almost every seat was occupied - a larger crowd than at most cricket matches. The ceremony there included the traditional presentation of scarves to the squad by the state's chief minister and the cutting of a cake. However, the event was marred by chaotic scenes at the end, with crowds being beaten back by baton-wielding policemen resulting in some injuries.
While most of the Knight Riders' overseas players left the squad at Chennai, Shakib Al Hasan remained behind, as did most of the coaching staff including head coach Trevor Bayliss and mental skills coach Rudi Webster.