The sparks went missing

The sparks went missing

The occasional drizzle at the Chinnaswamy Stadium on Monday appeared to steal the thunder from the star-studded teams of the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and the Mumbai Indians (MI). However, the rain did not take over this crucial IPL match. Yet, the stars on both sides failed to shine. It was left to the young turks Mayank Agarwal from RCB and A Rayudu from MI to ensure that it was paisa vasool for the 36,000-plus crowd.

Nita and Anant AmbaniThe two men put up an exceptional fight on the field. The expectations of the fans on both sides soared. There were also moments of joy and sadness for both sides. Disappointment was writ large on the faces of the RCB fans toward the fag end of the game.

The MI came with not less than 40 people from Mumbai for the match. Notable among them were Sachin’s wife Anjali and son Arjun;  Nita Ambani and son Anant; film producer, director and writer Vidhu Vinod Chopra and music director Anu

The big group hooted, cheered and made their presence felt every time MI did well. Actress Priyamani too was seen in the crowd.

Tia Bhatia, who suffered a broken nose from Chris Gayle’s six during an earlier match, looked like a celebrity of sorts. Making an exception to the IPL rules, Tia’s presence was seen all over the field — during the toss, in the VVIP lounges and later sitting with Chris Gayle. The little girl got to meet and spend quality time with the cricketer.

Sachin Tendulkar’s son Arjun Tendulkar was also seen cheering the team and even played a friendly match after the game. The RCB team chose to wear green jerseys in keeping with their green initiative. But the RCB fans, unaware of RCB players going green for a day, continued to sport red.

Shivarajkumar made his appearance in a green jersey pledging his support for the green-initiative. As for the game, he was happy with the way RCB has been performing this season. “I have been closely following all the games and the team has really put in a lot of effort. But then again, this is the IPL and there is always a fifty-fifty chance of them bringing home the cup,” he says.   Many in the crowd had come to watch Sachin Tendulkar play. And Chris Gayle too had his followers.

Jagdeesh, a software engineer, had come along with his colleagues to watch his first IPL match and see Sachin live on the field. “It was sad that he didn’t stay on for too long. Nevertheless, it was worth it and I enjoyed the match to the fullest,” he says. Arup Bhaumik, another software engineer, was overwhelmed by the crowd at the stadium. “This is my first time and coming here has been worth it. For a minute, I thought the rain would play spoilsport but I’m glad we got to see an amazing match,” says Arup.
Renee, a professional, feels that the IPL is losing its sheen. “At first it seemed like an addiction but now that is slowly wearing off. But my heart goes out to the RCB and I hope they win the Cup,” she says.

Jeethu, who wore a green shirt with his red shoes, was thrilled that he had worn green. He observes, “The pitch wasn’t very good. It’s an exciting game and I make sure I come every season. The IPL has changed the way people look at cricket. It is short and perfect for some time out with family or friends.”

A huge group from Pingar, an IT company, got a chance to come to the stadium from their company. Ravi, who had both RCB and MI logos painted on his face, says, “I am from Mumbai but I work in Bangalore. So I support both the teams, especially the RCB. And we are all Sachin fans.”

Sathyam, who wore a Mumbai Indian jersey, says, “I’ve come here to watch Sachin live in action and I am content that I got to see him. I can’t ask for more.”

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