AUS v IND 2020-21: WATCH - T Natarajan receives grand welcome in native village near Salem

Natarajan had a fairytale like tour of Australia where he made his debut in all three formats.

T Natarajan bowls in the 4th Test at Gabba | Getty Images

Thangarasu Natarjan will never forget the tour of Australia, where he was initially picked as a net bowler for the Indian team, but ended up becoming the first Indian cricketer to make his debut across all three formats on a single tour in just 44 days.

Injuries to teammates meant Natarajan was first added to the T20I squad, then the ODI squad and finally the Test squad for the last two Tests. He played in 1 ODI, all 3 T20Is and the final Test at Gabba in Brisbane, also becoming India's 300th Test cricketer. He picked 2, 6 and 3 wickets respectively in the three formats and impressed everyone with his composure and ability to adapt to each situation.

India lost the ODI series 2-1, but won the T20I series 2-1 and then created history by winning the Test series 2-1, which was their second successive series win in Australia and third overall to retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

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Natarajan was accorded a grand welcome after arriving in Chennai on Thursday (January 21), following which he drove to his native village Chinnappampatti, about 40 km from Salem. Fire crackers were set off, women from the village took arathi and he was also adorned with a flower crown.

He then boarded a decked-up horse chariot, which took him in a procession till his house. All along the route, people of all age groups and from neighbouring villages, came to greet and see the fast bowler. Natarajan could be seen overwhelmed by the reception from his people, as he waved the national flag and had a beaming smile on his face. He also greeted the fans with folded hands as a mark of respect.

Natarajan also became a father recently, and would have met his two-month daughter for the first time as he was away for the IPL and then the Australian tour. He will now isolate for 14 days as asked by the health officials keeping the COVID-19 threat in mind.

Former Indian opener, Virender Sehwag shared video clip of Natarajan's grand reception and wrote, "Swagat nahi karoge ? This is India. Here cricket is not just a game. It is so much more. Natarajan getting a grand welcome upon his arrival at his Chinnappampatti village in Salem district. What an incredible story."

(With Times of India inputs)


By Saurabh Malhotra - 21 Jan, 2021

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