Sunday, March 06, 2011
Moving closer to the cup
India played Ireland yesterday in the 2011 world cup tournament at the Chinnaswamy stadium in Bangalore. Mona and I were guests of our friends Ritu and Alok (Managing Director, ESPN Sports) at the ESPN box and got an opportunity to see a live cricket match ... after nearly three decades! And it was worth every minute.
The atmosphere in and around the stadium was electric. Street vendors selling Indian flags, t-shirts, posters etc. added to the festive look and feel of the event. You could get an Indian flag painted on your face as you stood in line to get into the stadium. But despite thousands of fans arriving to watch the game, everything was well organized.
It was a treat to watch cricket legend, Sachin Tendulkar, on the field. The match itself was a lot of fun. When India bowled Ireland all out for 207, it appeared that this would not be much of a contest. But after the quick and steady loss of a few Indian wickets, the teams looked evenly matched for a while. There were no explosive batting performances but Yusuf Pathan provided some entertainment towards the end with a few big hits.
The crowd was awesome! And you quickly realize why all the teams love to play in India. Their enthusiasm is infectious and they will not hesitate to cheer the visiting team and boo the home team if required. Great music and a huge hosted dinner spread made the evening a memorable one.
India won and moves to the top of the table!