Age is just a number for grandma Charulata

Beyond boundaries

GRACIOUS SKIPPER India’s Virat Kohli meets fan Charulata Patel at the end of the match against Bangladesh in Birmingham on Tuesday. Reuters

In an age of body-painted and crazily-attired superfans – most of whom are well supported and even financed by the teams or the respective players they back, Charulata Patel was a breath of fresh air during the India-Bangladesh match at Edgbaston on Tuesday. The grey hair and wrinkled face did indicate she was indeed an octogenarian but her infectious enthusiasm belied her age of 87.

As the TV cameras panned towards a trumpet-blowing Patel, she became an instant internet rage.

Her face was repeatedly flashed on the giant screens of the stadium and every time she was shown – either screaming or clapping – the crowd went ballistic too. She sat through the whole match, supporting India with Tri-colour painted on her face

She wasn’t hard to miss, and when the match got over, both skipper Virat Kohli and his deputy Rohit Sharma made it a point to meet the wheelchair-bound Patel on the edge of the boundary.

While she offered some words of encouragement to Rohit who gave her warm hug, Kohli even delayed his arrival for the post-match presentation ceremony as he sat listening to Patel. The Indian captain later tweeted a message along with his photo where he is talking and taking blessings from her.

Rohit gifts to fan hit by his six

» Indian fans have been filling up the stands in all of India’s matches, easily outnumbering the rival supporters. In a foreign land, they are creating a home atmosphere for the players. They are travelling to match venues both from within England and abroad. While a sizeable number of fans have travelled from India, there are hundreds who have come from the USA and Australia besides other European countries. Players too are showing their gratitude by signing autographs and posing for selfies for longer periods than they normally do. There have been instances when they have asked hyper security guys to relax and oblige fans.  

On Tuesday, Rohit presented an autographed hat to a fan, named Meena, who was struck by one of the sixes that the batsman hit on Tuesday.

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