Sunday, April 17, 2011

A tale of two matches

Last night, I went to the IPL match at the stadium here.

How different it was from the Chepauk stadium experience a week earlier!

For one thing, the crowd here... There I found the crowd energetic, and even though most of us had written CSK off, there was still an air of excitement and energy. The last ball win was quite an experience. (The opening ceremony earlier was something of a damp squib). Here, somehow, the energy was lacking. If the DC innings had the crowd cheering somewhat actively, the KXIP innings had the crowd mostly passive, with only pockets of their fans cheering here and there.

Then, the edibles... There we had to go and buy snacks and drinks, here we could get them from our seats itself. As the only thing to do here while waiting for the match to start was eat, I had plenty to eat and drink while watching the players exercise. And had tried almost every drink that was on sale there - coke,limca,fanta and even maaza - by the time the first innings started.

(I wanted to go and collect the pitch report, but was restrained by my brother - otherwise I'd have been on the field, not in the gallery. I was offered the alternative of being present on the field, if I had some equipment with me - in the form of a broom-stick and a dustpan... Owing to the lack of the above-mentioned equipment, I did not get to go on the field... Alas....)

The match proved to be a lesson on cricketing field positions and nuances for my cousins (one of whom was trying to follow Duminy's actions, and the other was trying to follow a delivery guy - from Dominoes, not some bowler (bad joke!!!!)), though I doubt they were ready for it. And with an umpire-cum-expert-commentator with us, there wasn't even a need to look into the field or the screen to know what was happening...

By the time the first innings ended, what with all the drinks and the getting up to cheer every boundary, it was indeed time for a strategic time-out. But alas, when I came out of the gallery, it was almost pitch dark, with only a few stalls with some lighting, most of which was hidden by the crowds before them. It was impossible to even get some water, forget anything else.

The worst part for me were the unlit restrooms, without water. It was the most striking contrast from Chepauk with its big clean, restrooms with plenty of water, and all of it well-maintained.

Now, I have experienced cricket (if you can call it that, in this T20 format... Somehow this T20 thing doesn't strike me as cricket) live and in a stadium, from the gallery, and from the front rows...

And now, I hope to experience a Real Madrid match with its own flavour and experiences...

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