Sunday, April 24, 2011

The IPL Experience

Almost one year (362 days to be precise) to the date, I went to a stadium to watch the match. And it was between the same two teams as last time. The location and result were diiferent though. An unplanned trip to Wankhede, (or rather planned very late in the day) certainly made it a "Good" Friday.

The Journey
There was a dash from my office in Navi Mumbai (yes, my office was open on the day when probably everyone else was on holiday). The dash felt like being part of "The Amazing Race". Auto ride, followed by a train ride, followed by a taxi and reached Wankhede, only to realize that had arrived at the wrong gate. Entry gate being at the opposite end of the stadium meant taking another train (might be sounding unbelievable but thats what it was), and then a little walk. Add the uncertainty of whether tickets had been arranged or not, and it made for a pretty mad cross-city dash. During the second train ride heard the famous IPL bugle and the roar of the crowd to signify that the game had started.
Despite all this managed to be inside the stadium, having missed only the first over, though Sathish was out by that time. By the time settled down into the seat, Sachin was also gone. Settled down for the rest of the game.

The Stadium
First up the stadium looked real good. The renovations for the World Cup were in place, which reminded me of the fact that barely 20 days before India had won the World Cup in this very place. The gaps between stands ensured the cool evening breeze from the sea. Though it also had the effect of killing most attempts at the Mexican wave. The gaps in the stands ensured that the Waves just broke out in between.

The Seat
Had a seat in the Sachin Tendulkar stand. Located at the "cow corner" for the right handed batsman opposite the pavilion. So any sideways movement of the ball was not visible. But spotting the ball running/flying around the ground wasn't difficult at all. The camera operated on the crane was creating quite a bit of nuisance though. It would often rear itself bang in the middle splitting the view of the pitch. The crane operator was definitely the most abused guy from our stand.

The Crowd
Stadium was packed and filled with blue shirts supporting the Mumbai Indians. A few yellow shirts could be seen here and there though. One of our party turned out be a Chennai Super Kings supporter."Is he a Chennai supporter?" was the query raised by a bunch of teenaged girls seated behind. On getting the answer in affirmative, it was followed by a non-stop hooting to the chants of "Chennai harega" with whistles & horns blasting through out. Personally, suffered some collateral damage as the hearing seemed to be gone for some time.
Have to add this, the crowd was quite well behaved throughout.

The Match
As for the match itself, a good innings by Rohit Sharma, a Michelle for Bhajji and some outstanding fielding throughout helped Mumbai to a 8 run victory. Badrinath played a lone hand for the Chennai Super Kings. And the crowd was happy with the result.

Other Random Thoughts
  • Now I have seen our T20 world cup winning hero, Joginder Sharma (a.k.a Sir Jogi) bowl in person. Nothing more to say.
  • The 10'o clock rule for loudspeakers was strictly followed. No music after the 10, but the crowd was noisy enough to make up for it.
  • Time moves faster in the stadium. The strategic timeouts, gaps between overs, wickets just went by unnoticed.
  • Must feel for the section of the crowd, which finds itself in front of a cheerleaders' stand only to find the cheerboys from CSK dancing there.
Overall Experience - Excellent

1 comment:

  1. I too had a great time in KTK vs CSK match in Chennai. Got to see the Semi-Helicopter shot from Dhoni of the last ball and R. P. Swing. Jadeja too was fab. It was a great experience in spite of a 100 minute commercial break forced by Rain just as Raina was going berserk !


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