Last evening (Sunday 6th May), I went to see the IPL (Indian Premier League) Cricket Match between the teams of Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. Both my son and myself were mighty thrilled to be able to first get couple of tickets to the event and then make it to the Stadium well in advance of the huge crowds thronging the place.
Disclosure: My son is a supporter of CSK (Chennai Super Kings) team and I am a supporter of MI (Mumbai Indians) team !!
Going to the Stadium, identifying which gate to enter, and finding a parking space nearby – all was adventure for us. It took one hour and 10 minutes for us to drive from the Western suburb of Andheri West to the Churchgate station in South Mumbai, via the Bandra-Worli Sea Link (which is incidentally a pleasure to drive across). It took us some time to identify the Gate assigned on our ticket on the side of the Churchgate station, and then once we did that, we found a parking slot right across from the Gate in a quiet leafy road (one had to pay of course, as almost all South Mumbai roads seem to have a parking attendant who materializes suddenly when either you are trying to park the car, or when you are trying to leave the place !).
The thrill of actually going to the match (rather than just watching it even on a big TV screen) is just great – the crowds, the shouting, the cheering, the flag-waving, etc., etc., We thoroughly enjoyed the feeling of being part of the whole scene. The security was very tight – I was surprised when they told us to throw the granola bars we had or eat the same right then and there, as food articles were not allowed. No water bottles, and no cameras……..thorough frisking first when you go to the staircase leading up to the stadium, followed by metal detector stations…….and then at every turn, they kept checking our tickets. I was wondering – what happens if the usual railway track crossers jump into the Stadium: Mumbai, as you might know, have scores of these people crossing rail tracks rather than climbing up the bridge to the other side. But I did not see anyone like that !
It was scorching hot inside the stadium – may be around 34 or 35 deg C. But since it was the first time we went for such a match at the Wankhede Stadium (earlier we had gone to the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai a couple of years ago), we reached much earlier than the start time of the match.
It was an amazingly thrilling match yesterday. Without going through a commentary, I want to say that when the match reached its last couple of overs, my son was almost celebrating – the CSK team was on the verge of winning the match. When the last over arrived, the MI team had to get 15 runs to win the match, and with tail enders batting, the Stadium was eerily silent. Of course, it was Mumbai and 90% of the crowd was from Mumbai and heavy supporters of the MI team.
But then, no body anticipated that Dwayne Smith would hit such wonderful knocks – he hit a six and a four, followed by another four. The other batsman had taken a single, so Mumbai Indians so unexpectedly won the match yesterday. It was such a thrilling close to a hard fought match, that was the reason why most of the cricket lovers love this game……..the feeling is simply to be felt to be described.
Finally, there was a feeling of deja vu…………both sides were highly capable with excellent batsmen. They must have been thinking – Oh, what a match it was, always to be remembered !
So, that’s how I saw my first cricket match at the Wankhede Stadium at Mumbai !
6th May 2012