The champions of the ICC 2016 Women World Twenty20 touched down at Grantley Adams International Airport this afternoon to trumpet sounds and loud cheers from adoring fans.
The celebration stepped up a notch when the victorious players hit the road in a McEnearney Quality Inc motorcade.
Hundreds lined the streets waving West Indies flags to welcome home the stars, who ignored jet lag and paid attention to their fans.
People waited on sidewalks, watched from patios and through windows, gathered at rum shops and every possible vantage point.
At one point, a man ran at the side of the open back vans in which the women were travelling, waving his Barbados flag.
There were times when the players got off the vehicles to take pictures with their supporters and signed autographs. The team members clearly enjoyed the occasion as they waved and danced to the infectious beat of their fellow cricketer Dwayne Bravo’s tune, Champion.
Even as the light faded, young and old gathered outside their homes along the route waiting patiently for the historic parade.
“I got to see this. I don’t know if I gine live to see anything like this again in my life,” one old woman said to a group of people with whom she was standing.
Windies captain Stafanie Taylor described the reception as a wonderful and magnificent occasion. Taylor said she has never experienced anything like it, and said she hoped there was much more success to come.
“The reception was wonderful. I have never gotten that reception before. It makes me feel like a superstar,” Taylor said.
Fast bowler Shamelia Connell’s family members displayed expressive displays of pride. And they said they intended to celebrate all night long.
“We have to celebrate. I burnt my peas on Sunday when I was watching that game. I was on top of the world and feel like I was out there playing cricket with them. That’s how I felt. I had a burnt Sunday meal,” Shamelia’s cousin Wendy Connell confessed.
Junior Branch, the grandfather of Shaquana Quintyne described the moment as one of the greatest of his life.
Branch said he knew that Quintyne, who represented Barbados at the age of ten, would make the West Indies women’s team.
“But this got the family really proud. We are very proud of her,” Branch said.
Match winner Hayley Matthews’ siblings and cousins were part of the crowd awaiting the opportunity to give the Player of the Match a congratulatory hug and thumps up. They said while winning this title was an important milestone in her career, they just wanted her to know that they were her biggest fans.
“I felt ecstatic on Sunday. I was very happy for her. It was a great break for her,” Hayley’s cousin Abayomi Harper said.
Hayley’s sister Makayla Matthews was finding it difficult to control her excitement as she waited for the hero in her family to come into sight.
“I plan to maybe go out with her for something to eat or give her her side of the bed tonight. I am very proud of her and everything she has accomplished,” Matthews told Barbados TODAY.
On Sunday, as he watched his daughters Kyshona and Kycia Knight play in the championship match, Martin Jones was so elated that he was jumping for joy and “almost break down the house”.
“I am a proud man today. Twenty years ago when they were four I said they would play for West Indies and here they are today,” Jones told Barbados TODAY.