New Delhi: Delhi's South Patel Nagar is where India's newest bowling hero lives. Close to three months after he left home as a rookie cricketer for Down Under, Ishant Sharma returned home to a hero's welcome on Thursday.
Ishant's mother Girisha is busy tidying up the house for her hero. It's not only the Sharma family, but the entire neighbourhood is beaming with pride.
"We are happy that he's made the entire neighbourhood proud," says Ishant's immediate neighbour.
The lanky Delhi fast-bowler was perhaps Indian cricket's greatest find as he demolished Australia in the Perth Test, following which many Australian greats — including Steve Waugh and Ricky Ponting himself — touted him as the next big thing not just for India, but the cricketing world.
Ishant, all of 19, has expressed his pleasure after his exploits Down Under, and is keen to lead the Indian pace bowling attack in the future.
The neighborhood star will come back to a victor's welcome and his mother's home-cooked food later on Thursday. "His favourites are Rajma Chawal and Kadi," Ishant's mother Girisha Sharma reveals.
"Tonight there is going to be an all-night party with DJ and all," says a friend of Ishant.