In the grip of cricket fever

In the grip of cricket fever

Expats say that the excitement at the IPL matches is infectious

In the grip of cricket fever

elated Bridget and Hugh with children.

Imagine a white man rooting for namma Bengaluru or for that matter even Kochi – India’s premium Twenty 20 cricket tournament has made this possible.

  The expats among the crowd at the recent IPL match said that they wait for the season to arrive. More than the World Cup, it’s the IPL that attracts them to watch the sport. Cricket isn’t a popular sport back in their hometowns but here in India, the expats know it is worshipped.

Metrolife interacted with a few foreigners in the crowd (during the match between RCB and Mumbai Indians), who came dressed in their team jerseys, got their faces painted, wore the colourful wigs – all in an effort to blend with the crowd.      

For Bridget, a jewellery designer and Hugh, a consultant, this was their third visit to the IPL. They think the game serves as a perfect family outing, one that their kids look forward to. “We love the concept and rarely find this kind of excitement back home. My children enjoy the game and so far we have made it a point to come for as many IPL matches as we can,” says Hugh, who is from New Zealand. With New Zealand player Daniel Vettori on the RCB team, Bridget says that she is looking forward to seeing him play. “I find many of the players very cute and the excitement is infectious,” she adds.   
David, who has been in the City for just a year, heard about the IPL from his friends and decided to check it out himself. An avid cricket fan, he found the IPL very entertaining.

Rooting for RCB, David says, “This is my first IPL match and I am still trying to get used to the rush here. After the World Cup, I find this a welcome change and I am looking forward to seeing Dilshan and AB de Villiers play.” Aaron Sears, who was in the City on work from Sans Francisco, said reading about the IPL on the net was fascinating. “Now that I am here, I am enjoying every bit of it. It’s amazing how the crowd integrates at so many different levels,” he says.

Matt Willden, an American with the Amazon.com was spotted wearing a Mumbai Indians T-shirt. “I live in Mumbai and I am here on work. My children are big fans of Sachin Tendulkar and have threatened me into supporting Mumbai Indians. Looks like cricket is a religion here and I was told all about the Indians’ craze for Sachin,” says Matt who also made it a point to read up a bit about the concept of IPL before he came for the match.
 “I thought sport freaks back home were crazy but I find the sports enthusiasts here crazier. It’s great,” he adds.

Dressed in a red tee, Paul Harrington, an employee with EMC and a native of Ireland says that he had heard so much about Sachin that he wanted to see the man for himself.
“I am supporting RCB but wanted to watch Sachin play live. It’s great to be out here amidst so much of screaming and excitement. You just  can’t be grim and serious in such an atmosphere,” he wraps up.

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