Smart placards, cheering fans make carnival of warm-up tie

Sunday, February 13, 2011

BANGALORE - Hundreds of tiny Indian flags, “Pathan bomb will explode” placards, a roar to greet a shot and a collective sigh at a miss - it was carnival time at the Chinnaswamy stadium here as India and Australia clashed in a warm-up match ahead of the cricket World Cup.

Braving the sharp sun and tight security by gun-toting policemen with sniffer dogs in tow, hundreds of people of various age groups, majority of them youth, started queuing up to enter the stadium more than an hour before the gates opened for the day-night game.

Disappointment greeted the large number of fans when they learnt that master-blaster Sachin Tendulkar and pace spearhead Zaheer Khan may not play.

Soon the attention turned towards the game as Indian took to batting first.

It was a sea of tiny Indian flags inside the stadium with placards reading “Pathan bomb will explode” and “If you want take Coffee cup, not the World Cup,” towering over them.

A number of foreigners, including many from Down Under, joined the Indians fans to watch the game.

A bonus for the fans was the presence of Kannada matinee idol Shivraj Kumar and his brother actor Raghavendra.

Among the cricket celebrities at the stadium were Indias 1983 World Cup heroes Roger Binny and Syed Kirmani, former captain and Test player Rahul Dravid, ace leggie and Karnataka State Cricket Association president Anil Kumble, speedster and KSCA secretary Javagal Srinath and former bowling coach and pacer Venkatesh Prasad.

The atmosphere is exciting as it is a maiden contest between the home team and a strong Aussies said Murali Loganathan, a techie in a multinational IT firm, as crowds continued to cheer and roar to egg on their heroes.

Indo-Asian News Service

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