Thank you Kolkata, thanks for your support, Gambhir says to Kolkatans

Kolkata: Over a thousand frenzied cricket fans, many of them beating drums and chanting "KKR, KKR", welcomed Indian Premier League champions Kolkata Knight Riders' players as they arrived "home" late Monday night.

The people, who waited for hours at the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport for a glimpse of the team members, carried KKR flags and waved big cut-outs of the franchisee co-owner Shah Rukh Khan and the players.

Several of the fans painted their faces in colours of the KKR jerseys.

As the players, tired but cheerful, walked out one after another from the airport terminal, they were received on a makeshift stage with bouquets and garlands by state ministers, amidst wild cheers from the fans.

"Thank you Kolkata, thanks for your support," said captain Gautam Gambhir, as he waved at the crowd.

Thanking the cricket buffs, KKR chief executive officer Venky Mysore said he was proud to be part of the team which has "done a fantastic job underthe captaincy of Gautam Gambhir".

The brief function over, the players were put into the team bus with a heavy security cordon enroute to the team hotel.

Despite the clock touching 11 p.m., there were people lining the route. (IANS)