Watching it LIVE!

Yes, I finally got my real first opportunity to watch a cricket match live. The occasion was the IPL clash between the Mumbai Indians and the Deccan Chargers at the newly constructed D.Y. Patil Stadium at Nerul, Mumbai. Aditya, Abhishek, Gadre and Ashwin were with me to enjoy the match.

The tickets were booked at an outlet. Ironically, thought the tagline of the company to whom the distribution was assigned was ‘Jump the Queue’, we still had to stand in queue to get the actual tickets in hand! Earlier, like in a typical bureaucratic organisation, we had been asked to travel from one gate to another, bearing signs of “Tickets SOULD out.” Finally, we found the tickets being given at what seemed like a watchman’s cabin. Of course, there were no board there…

We had time to kill, so we wandered around a mall near vashi. After having a hearty meal, we came back to the stadium.

The DY Patil stadium just near the university of the same name, is a real class act. Its unique cantilever design has no columns in between the spectators and the action. It boasts of a seating capacity near to 60000. The seats too were comfortable and to my surprise, numbered. A glass media centre looks down the pitch at one end, while the pavilion at the other. The architecture of the entrance is also good. We were in the second tier, looking sideways on the pitch. In hindsight, it turned out to be a good choice. We were relatively close to the action and we enjoyed overs being bowled from either sides equally. Also, we could gauge the height to which the bole frequently rose to, which was not possible from the lower tier due to a small projecting roof overhead. The Mumbai cheerleaders were right in front of us, so we did not mind staying far from them!

Coming to the stadium, the first thing that strikes you is the scene. As we emerged from the stairs, we were treated to a magnificent sight of the ground below, the three tiers in between, the darkening evening sky above and the lights shining down. The next thing was the seemingly very small distances. When you watch on TV, the ground seems huge and the action really far away. However, it is in reality not so. We could easily identify the players and having a pair of binoculars made it more interesting. Sadly, the Deccan chargers’ cheerleaders were far from us…

It is just pure entertainment to watch the game live. It is so much faster than what we seen on TV. It seems more continuous with no ad breaks. The DC cheerleaders were doing fantastic dance routines! They were just too good, graceful, sensuous and brilliantly coordinated. Their outfits though completely restricted , were in good taste. Strikingly sour were the Mumbai ‘local talent’ cheerleaders. They wore hideous shining blue costumes and could not coordinate their own too hands let alone with their team! The dance moves were sad and repetitive. More entertaining were a bunch of guys dancing in our block. Atleast they were hilarious. In the end the MI cheerleaders stopped dancing. Whether this had to do with their team not doing well or to do with gross embarrassment will remain a point of debate. Gadre writes here on cheerleaders.

For the data skeptics, there is no way that you miss any of the action or the statistics. A screen, albeit a small one, continued to show the score and replay for all balls. Fielding and caching too is a just a treat for the eyes. And the most special thing of all is the resounding sound of the ball hitting the meat of the bat. Also, one can understand the value of sheer pace in the bowling attack. And, seeing the ball disappearing over the boundary line is just amazing. The atmosphere was simply great before the match began and only when the home team was going good!

Coming to the actual game, MI were playing without Sachin and obviously without Harbhajan. They made a mess of their batting with nobody particularly supporting the innings. They ended on a modest 154. And then came pure delight. Adam Gilchrist was in devastating form and scorched his way to the fastest hundred in T20! With 10 towering sixes and 9 cracking fours, he made easy work of the target and DC hauled it in just around 13 overs. I was initially supporting MI but with a sub-par performance, I switched to the Chargers. That was obviously just for the night…

We had plenty of snide comments to enjoy from the back throughout the match. Pollock, Nehra, Laxman and a sandwich vendor were the hot favorites. It was a really memorable experience, one which I plan to undertake as frequently as possible from now on. Next on my list is an closely fought ODI (:p)

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1 Comment »

  1. […] Original post by Vanishd! […]

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