World Cup: Warm-up for 30, real game for thousands of BangaloreansBy IANS
Sunday, February 13, 2011
BANGALORE - M.G. Road, Cubbon Road, Kasturba Gandhi Marg and Kamaraj Road in the heart of this high-tech city are usually devoid of traffic jams on Sunday afternoons. But this Sunday the four wide and pot-hole free roads were choc-a-bloc around noon itself with hundreds of vehicles and thousands of people trying to outsmart the others to be ahead in reaching the venue - the Chinnaswamy cricket stadium.
The trot, animated conversation, haggling with flag sellers and occasional guffaws drowned the blaring from horns of four-wheelers and two-wheelers. The vehicles had little option but to yield the first right of way to the pedestrians, who are almost always at the receiving end from the owners and drivers of these vehicles.
The scene around the stadium surrounded by these four landmark roads was no indicator that the game they were heading to witness was only a warm-up match between India and Australia ahead of the World Cup starting Feb 19.
For the thousands heading to fill the 50,000 seat stadium, all that mattered was reaching the venue to grab a seat at a vantage point.
The Bangalore sun showed no mercy on them. Though the temperature an hour before the day-night show hovered around 28 degree Celsius, the sun was really sharp and forced one to look for shade after a few minutes.
“Warm-up for them and not us,” “So what, do you mean there won’t be fours and sixes” were the dismissive reactions to questions on why the enthusiasm for a practice match, where both the teams can or may give a chance to all their 15 members to play.