Celebrities, cine stars, tycoons, make beeline at Chinnaswamy (World Cup Diary)

By Fakir Balaji, IANS
Sunday, February 27, 2011

BANGALORE - Of the 40,000 spectators who were treated to some scintillating batting by Indian players at the Chinnaswamy stadium in a World Cup match against England here Sunday, a few hundred were the privileged ones to have walked in free with complimentary passes courtesy the International Cricket Council, the Board of Control for Cricket in India and the local organisers.

Among the noted celebrities were Bollywood star Deepika Padukone, Kannada actress Ramya, sandalwood stars Shivraj Kumar, Puneet Kumar and Sudheep from this garden city.

State chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa with some of his family members in tow, Union Law Minister Veerappa Moily and opposition Congress leader Siddaramaiah were also seen in the Diamond Box at the pavilion stand.

Former cricketers, including wicketkeeper Syed Kirmani and pacer Roger Binney, who were members of the 1983 World Cup winning team, former Test batsman G.R. Vishwanath, Rahul Dravid and a host of other current and ex-players were prominent among the VIP fans.

Business tycoon and Rajya Sabha member from Karnataka Vijay Mallya and his son Siddarth, owners of the IPL Bangalore Royal Challengers, came with a large contingent from their group companies.


Barmy Army troops in to root for England

About 1,000 of the famous Barmy Army from England made their presence felt in the noisy stadium by rooting for their home team, even as favourites India tonked sixes and fours at will.

Of the estimated 4,000-odd English fans who booked online for the clash that was to be originally played at Eden Gardens in Kolkata before it was shifted to Bangalore, only about 1,200 of them turned up.

“Many of us have come to watch our team play in the World Cup during the group matches and will be in the sub-continent if they make to semis and finals, which we hope they do this time,” 32-year-old Jonathan Dyson from Leeds told IANS in the stands.


Sachin sets stands afire with fifth World Cup century

Indias batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar set the stands afire with his fifth World Cup century and his die-hard fans roared each time he hit over the fence for his five sixes and 10 boundaries before he was caught by Michael Yardy off James Anderson for 120.

Though big-hitter Virender Sehwag gave a flying start with a flurry of six fours in the initial overs, it was worth the sweat, toil and tears for the sporting crowd to watch the diminutive master blaster mauling the English seam and spin attack, especially for the 134-run second wicket partnership with southpaw Gautam Gambhir, who scored a breezy 51 in 61 balls.


Fans cheer India as rain gods keep away

Thousands of frenzied fans Sunday cheered India as the rains gods kept away and stray clouds played hide and seek.

Contrary to the weatherman’s forecast of thundershowers or a sudden downpour in the spring season, sun shone through silver-lined clouds, as the high-voltage clash progressed in a surcharged atmosphere.

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