Feeling young again

Feeling young again

youthful The crowd in the senior citizens’ stand.

The IPL bandwagon has everyone hopping on to it and partaking in the excitement. The stand at Chinnaswamy Stadium that truly enjoys all the noise, hungama and the action — during the IPL matches — is the one reserved for senior citizens. The ‘Senior Citizen Stand’ has attracted a lot of ageing sports enthusiasts to relive the years gone by. Get them talking about cricket and their younger days and they’d keep you engaged in some active conversation.

Audience in the stand, mostly men and women in their late 60s and 70s, say they have come here to feel young again. It’s not just entertainment, these ageing fans follow cricket and have a thing or two to say about every team at the IPL. You’d find grandparents, who are usually accompanied by their grandchildren. And they don’t lose a chance to dress their best, hoot, cheer and grab on to whatever support they have to lend that extra bit of energy to the home team.

Seventy four-year-old Leela Moses was accompanied by her grandson. Leela doesn't miss a single IPL match, “I watch the match on TV only when I don’t get a chance to come out here to the stadium. I love cricket and will support the team that plays well. I am a big fan of Anil Kumble,” says Leela. Ask her if all the noise bothers her? “Oh no. I come here only for the noise and the entertainment,” she adds.

A retired civil engineer, 70-year-old Neelagiri Sheshadri was a cricketer himself. He played for his college and the state in his younger days. “During the IPL, I’ve noticed that the players have a different energy about them. It’s not about winning but the spirit of the game. I have come here to feel young all over again,” says Neelagiri.

However, there are people like Vidhyadhar, a businessman in his late 60s, who feels that prominence must be given to Indian players and he’s not too happy about mixing Indian and foreign players. “The IPL matches are a treat to watch but I feel that some of the older players in the team have to make way for the younger ones. But I must say that whenever I come to the stadium, I feel 40 years younger,” says Vidhyadhar.

Geetha Mehta is no cricket buff but she joins the younger members of her family in watching the match, “I have never watched a match in a stadium before. But it’s worth every rupee and the energy is infectious,” she wraps up.

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