This was the first ever cricket match (any format) I watched live in a stadium. I travel back now to share my favourite sports memory with you.
It is the 6th season of the IPL. As is the case with Hyderabad, there was total chaos on the roads, hours before the match began. People had parked their vehicles where they found some space. The roads were choc-a- bloc with trucks, buses, cars, scooters, three wheelers and what not. It seemed as though everyone was heading for the stadium.
Though we were about 10 minutes late, there was still quite a lot of
chaos at the entry gates.
My first feeling as I walked into the stands – It was reminiscent of the scene from Kai Po Che when Ali comes out to bat. With over 40,000 people yelling at the top of their voices, it felt like one was entering a cauldron.
For a moment, I just looked around at the stands, at the people and at the field. It all looked so surreal, so beautiful!
I could just wonder on what it must feel for a cricketer to make his debut in front of such a vociferous crowd.
Now a dampener – I had come to watch the Gayle vs Steyn battle. But I soon realized that Gayle was already back in the pavilion. The rest of the game was relatively slow with just a few fours and a couple of sixes. Though the bowling was good, but generally in a T20, you expect some batting fireworks 🙂
Atmosphere – Before this game, I always used to wonder what’s so special about watching a cricket match in a stadium. But now I know. There were people hooting and yelling all around. After every over, the DJ used to play some song or the other like Party Abhi Baaki Hai and even Jumping Japang Jampak Jampak (IPL song) much to the delight of the crowd who were dancing as if it were a party.
And then there was also the Mexican wave which the whole stadium did almost 8 times with such amazing coordination across different stands. It felt like a carnival.
Truth be told, cricket was just a small part of the puzzle.
WOW cricketing moment – Though there were a couple of good batting and bowling performances courtesy Hanuma Vihari, Ishant Sharma and Moises Henriques; for me it was the super over. It was a dream come true to see Steyn face off with Gayle in a nerve wrangling last couple of minutes.
And the two sixes by Cameron White when it mattered the most were brilliant!