29th June 2024 - A day etched in the memory of Indian cricket fans forever. India won an ICC Trophy after a long wait of 11 years, bringing immense joy to the nation. The first week of July saw jubilant celebrations all over the country. The Indian team's return from Barbados was delayed due to Hurricane Beryl, but when they finally landed in India, they were warmly welcomed by the honorable Prime Minister Narendra Modi before heading to Mumbai. Even before the team arrived in Mumbai, Marine Drive was flooded with people, leaving no space to walk. The images of the crowds were a testament to the immense love and support for the Indian team.

The scene in Mumbai was unforgettable. Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma holding the trophy together was a moment to cherish. The entire Indian team singing "Vande Mataram" at the Wankhede Stadium gave goosebumps to everyone present. The atmosphere was electric, and the joy was palpable.

Sadda Sher, Arshdeep Singh received a grand homecoming in Chandigarh. He was the highest wicket-taker for India in the tournament and the joint-highest overall. Chandigarh was abuzz with celebrations when Arshdeep landed, and the sight of his parents celebrating was heartwarming and wholesome.

Amidst all this joy, another chapter of Indian cricket was being written. Under the captaincy of Shubman Gill, a young Indian squad traveled to Zimbabwe for a 5-match T20I series. The first game went Zimbabwe’s way, with their star player Sikandar Raza putting up a superb performance. Additionally, Punjab was on a tour of Namibia, where their players showcased impressive performances.

Let’s take a closer look at their standout performances:

Sikandar Raza - 3/25 against India

Sikandar Raza, the captain of Zimbabwe, was in fantastic form in the first T20I against India. After India restricted Zimbabwe to a modest 115, the visitors were the clear favorites. However, Raza's exceptional bowling turned the tide. He delivered a brilliant spell, picking up three crucial wickets for just 25 runs. He dismissed India’s set batter Shubman Gill for 31, followed by crucial wickets of Ravi Bishnoi and Mukesh Kumar. India eventually fell short by 13 runs, giving Zimbabwe a memorable victory.

Prabhsimran Singh - 88* (49) against Namibia

Prabhsimran Singh was in top form in the third unofficial ODI against Namibia. After Punjab bowled out Namibia for 147, Prabhsimran came out with an aggressive mindset. He scored an unbeaten 88 off just 49 deliveries, including 6 sixes and 8 fours. His partnership with Anmolpreet Singh was instrumental in chasing down the target in just 14.1 overs without losing any wickets. It was a dominant performance by Punjab.

Harpreet Brar: 1/32 against Namibia

Harpreet Brar, the left-arm spinner, showcased his skills in the first unofficial ODI against Namibia. Bowling first, Punjab restricted Namibia to a total of 173, with Brar playing a key role. He bowled 8 economical overs, conceding only 32 runs and taking the crucial wicket of Alexander Volschenk. Despite Namibia's efforts, Punjab chased down the target comfortably, thanks to key contributions from Sanvir Singh, who scored 70, and Naman Dhir, who added 61.

In conclusion, Indian cricket had an eventful and successful phase, with the national team and regional players shining on different stages. The victory in the ICC Trophy brought immense joy and pride to the nation, while the young talents continued to make their mark in international cricket.