With no matches in Chennai, CSK fans throng B'lore

With no matches in Chennai, CSK fans throng B'lore

With no matches in Chennai, CSK fans throng B'lore

Fans came in droves and traffic came to a standstill, but the marquee clash in any IPL – Royal Challengers Bangalore versus Chennai Super Kings – failed to generate any spark as the visitors posted a routine victory at the Chinnaswamy Stadium.

The roads around the stadium were clogged hours before the start despite the game being an inconsequential one – RCB having failed to qualify for the play-offs and Chennai having secured their ticket well in advance. Fans just wanted their fill of entertainment for the evening and with many travelling from Chennai, the atmosphere inside the stadium was festive as ever.

“Of course, I am here to support RCB,” said Harshini, a college student. “They might not have made the play-offs but it does not matter,” she added, a tad disappointed that Chris Gayle was not playing the match. “This being our last match, he should have played here,” she said.

As usual, Chennai had its share of support – though it was a bit more this time, with travelling fans offering vociferous backing to their team. The fact that there was no match in Chennai this time prompted them to pack their bags and head to the nearest IPL venue.

“We felt very disappointed when all Chennai matches were cancelled this time,” said Swaminathan, a software professional from Chennai, who plays in the fifth division league there. “Many of our matches were in UAE and one of our friends even travelled to Dubai to watch a game,” added Swaminathan, who barely made it for the match on time after his car broke down en route.

He got it towed till Hosur and took a cab from there to the stadium. Many Bangaloreans sported the yellow CSK colours. A closer look revealed that cricket lovers had Number-7 and Dhoni printed on their backs. “I am from Bangalore but I am a big Dhoni fan. He is a real champion cricketer which is why I am supporting him,” said Rajesh, a software professional.

 Lakshmikanth, a CSK fan, said he took leave from his office today so that he could cheer his team. “Even if RCB had won, they would not qualify for the play-offs. This is another reason why I decided to support CSK and Dhoni and not RCB.” 

The street vendors, meanwhile, did a brisk business selling merchandise. The popular ones were Virat Kohli and M S Dhoni T-Shirts. They will hope for a bigger business day when the gates open for one last IPL game this season, the final on June 1.

Traffic jam

It was a bumper-to-bumper ride on MG Road and surrounding areas on Saturday afternoon as all roads lead to M Chinnaswamy Stadium. As it was a Saturday, the crowd turnout was bigger compared to that during the previous matches and thus there were more vehicles on the roads leading to the stadium.

Motorists had to bear the scorching sun as vehicles were stranded on MG Road, Cubbon Kamaraj Road, Kasturba Road and Brigade Road, to name a few. The police had a tough time in regulating traffic. Even the footpaths on these roads were crowded with scores of street vendors selling a variety of merchandise.