Monday, 16 May 2016

Watching an IPL Match

IPL at Vizag
I have always loved my cricket, so it was a pleasant surprise when my husband asked me to accompany him to a cricket match at Vizag. I have been unaware of the IPL goings on for the past couple of years. I don't really remember the reason the interest just petered off. Was it when Chennai found itself at the centre of the betting scandal? I guess so. I mean when the Champion team's owner's relative was found out being immersed with unsavoury characters with proven involvement in betting scandals and the same owner owns Indian cricket and the captain of the team also captains the country...the relationship between all of Indian cricket and the betting industry and IPL becomes kind of incestuous. Anyways that's a separate story from my IPL watching yesterday!

So, cut off as I was from the game I didn't know what to expect. But to my immense pleasure I found two heroes at the ground at Vizag! And one of them, my all time favorite in cricket, Rahul Dravid, was in the dugout right beneath our Stand! So I had a pleasant couple of hours before the match (yes, we reached two hours early because my husband said what do we do in Vizag otherwise?) doing some Rahul spotting.

Rahul Dravid near!

I hadn't even known that Dravid had moved to Delhi, let alone expecting to find him at Vizag! Wonder what have happened to my other RR favorites, Steve Smith and Shane Watson. But Rahul has got his protege Sanju Samson to Delhi with him. Rahul being simple Rahul and not Dhoni, this strategy was/is bound to fail. I mean, for what reason does one take a Sanju Samson in the middle order against line ups that has huge hitters like Pollard, etc. He is not a strategic big hitter who can make 40 off 12 balls. He is not being used as a wicket keeper, he is not being used as an opener even to hustle some quick runs. That's my un-expert observation about the game.
Now, on to more interesting stuff. Sachin was of course welcomed with a roar. All the glamorous models we see anchoring on TV were not visible. Even the cheerleaders were at the other side of the stadium, away from us. So nothing interesting from that angle. This brings me to wonder,  aren't binoculars allowed in stadiums these days? Would sure have helped some!

Zaheer and Dravid... eye candy
The lounge where we sat was adjacent to a food and waiting lounge. The constant beeline for the drinks and snacks and food became irritating to say the least. The normal humidity of Vizag became suffocating under the spotlights especially when a big black ant crept into my shirt and got mixed up with the sweat lines. The relief from the free steam bath could be had in the air conditioned food lounge if one could be confident enough to leave ones' seats for sometime and one could get some standing area in the lounge amongst the moving food plates and beer mugs. Delhi won the toss, and as was expected, elected to field. Unfortunately for them, Krunal Pandya (whoever is he?) got into a groove and had some really big hits which took Mumbai past 200. The evening was freely peppered with sixes and I kept hoping I would get to catch one and make the TV! 

Delhi decided that enough was enough and decided to end it quickly with a rash of wickets. Fortunately I saw the end coming, being the apostle I am, and plead successfully with my husband to leave the match behind and head home after the fourth Delhi wicket was down. 

So here's to another IPL match. Only this was watched by me and hence made the difference (to only me I guess !)