Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman returns: Sachin Tendulkar, PV Sindhu salute IAF pilot's bravery

Abhinandan was handed back to India at the Attari-Wagah border two days after his MiG-21 Bison fighter jet had crashed in PoK while successfully engaging a Pakistan Air Force F16 jet.

Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman returns: Sachin Tendulkar, PV Sindhu salute IAF pilot's bravery
Image Courtesy: PTI

After Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot Abhinandan Varthaman returned home to India on Friday night after spending two days in Pakistani captivity, the sports fraternity came in unison to welcome the Wing Commander.

From legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar to ace Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal, all took to their official Twitter handle to salute the bravery of the pilot. 

Tendulkar said that the valour and courage showcased by Abhinandan taught everyone to have faith in themselves.  

"A hero is more than just four letters. Through his courage, selflessness and perseverance, OUR HERO teaches us to have faith in ourselves.#WelcomeHomeAbhinandan. Jai Hind," he wrote. 

Describing the Wing Commander as the country's hero in the truest sense, tennis star Sania Mirza saluted the bravery and dignity shown by pilot Abhinandan. 

"Welcome back Wing Commander Abhinandan .. you are our HERO in the truest sense.. The country salutes you and the bravery and dignity you have shown #Respect #WelcomeBackAbinandan Jai Hind," Mirza wrote. 

Here is how other welcomed Abhinandan's return to India: 

Anil Kumble: We salute your bravery #WelcomeHomeAbhinandan 

VVS Laxman: The nation salutes your valour , selflessness and grit. #WelcomeHomeAbhinandan 

Gautam Gambhir:  I must say I was nervous before he returned. I am glad India got its son back!!! #Abhinanadan #AbhinanadanVarthaman

Saina Nehwal: Welcome back our hero ... #WingCommandarAbhinandan  #IndianAirfoce

Virender Sehwag: How proud we are to have you ! Bow down to your skills and even more your grit and courage  #WelcomeBackAbhinandan . We love you and are filled with pride because of you.#WeAreSupposedToTellYouThis

Rohit Sharma: Welcome to our motherland #WingCommanderAbhinandan Another name for bravery

Kidambi Srikanth: You have shown us what a soldier is really made of. A big salute to the hero of our nation. Welcome back brave heart!#WelcomeHomeAbhinandan

PV Sindhu: Welcome back wing commander Abhinandan. The Country salutes you Jai hind #respect#ourhero

Abhinandan was handed back to India at the Attari-Wagah border two days after his MiG-21 Bison fighter jet had crashed in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir while successfully engaging a Pakistan Air Force F16 jet. Pakistan cracked under pressure from India to hand the IAF pilot back and the much-awaited return took place on Friday night.