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Wednesday, June 23, 1999 Published at 09:22 GMT 10:22 UK

World: Asia-Pacific

Australian cricket heroes return home

Bringing home the cup: The victorious team in Melbourne

More than 100,000 people have lined the streets of Melbourne to welcome back Australia's victorious cricket World Cup winning squad.

Australia won the trophy in grand style at Lord's on Sunday, beating Pakistan by eight wickets.

The centre of Melbourne came to a standstill as the team drove through the streets. Office workers hung out of windows to cheer and throw streamers.

[ image: Shane Warne: Four wickets in the final]
Shane Warne: Four wickets in the final
The balloon-waving crowd saved the loudest reception for the final car in the motorcade, with the captain Steve Waugh and his deputy, Melbourne's own Shane Warne.

The leg-spin bowler has returned even more of a local hero than when he left, after taking four wickets in Sunday's final.

"I'm proud of all the guys and how they played," Waugh said after thanking the thousands of fans.

Up all night

Millions of Australians stayed up all night throughout the tournament to watch the games on television.

Australian Prime Minister John Howard had to intervene to ask employers to be understanding if staff were more than normally bleary-eyed at work.

An official reception for the whole team has taken place at the Victoria state parliament. The Lord Mayor received the team at Melbourne Town Hall, with players coming out onto the balcony to salute the cheering crowd.

Another cocktail party is planned for later on Wednesday and the players will then be able to take a complete rest.

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