Paisa Vasool IPL
I was not interested in IPL T20 initially and also vowed not to write a blog on it. But then slowly the hype and advertisements started gaining on me and I started watching the matches in TV. Then suddenly out of nowhere I decided to go watch it live in a stadium. A few calls made and confirmations received from my-like-minded gang and I booked tickets online and collected them. We decided to watch the Match No 31 between Chennai Super Kings and Kings IX Punjab. I booked the Rs 600 tickets on the E and G stand.
We were present inside the stadium well before the match start time and we started enjoying the music and entertainment. This was my first time to watch a cricket match in the stadium. The MA Chidambaram pitch and outfield might be good but the stadium is an antique. Very poor infrastructure and safety standards and security management could make this stadium one of the worst maintained international stadiums. The canteen area behind the arena could easily be used as a concentration camp for Hitler. Toilets are badly maintained and the scoreboard is a piece from the past and it shows very less information to the audience. There were many incidents where the scoreboard displayed wrong information and corrected later on. Though they had electronic displays, they were inconsistent as well. Only 2 displays to show replays, made it difficult for the audience to watch it on screen. A minimum of 4 screens will enhancethe match watching experience.
The audience were totally enjoying themselves inspite of all the poor management and infrastructure. Mexican wave was fun and the wave moved very fast around the stadium. Music was one the crowd enjoyed a lot more than the actual match. Everyone were dancing, shouting, cheering, jeering, swearing, sweating and having total fun. We got ourselves a mini-trumpet-cum-big-whistle and made loud noises. We were all trying to grab the attention of the camera man and feature ourself in the small screens back home. Some guys near us started swearing at the camera man. Some of the swear words: Dei saruku mandaya, camera sotta, pulasulaki, etc… It was fun, thats all I can say. People were having fun, but never forgot to click the important moments with their mobile camera. The Chennai Cheerleaders were aweful. In total they had 4 steps and were repeating it, just to do justice to their salary. But the Punjab cheerleaders were really cool and they enjoyed themselves and were literally cheering the team and the audience. When ever a Punjab boundary was hit or wicket fell for Punjab, all eyes turn towards, not the monitors, but the cheerleaders. ;-)
Live in TV vs Stadium
As I said earlier, that this is my first experience watching cricket in a stadium, I was in for a lot of surprise. The ground looks relatively small than what it seems in the tube. Probably they use wide lens. I am used to watch replays and camera angle changes in TV. Well, obviously both these are not a part of the stadium experience. But I felt that these luxuries were necessary to watch cricket match, otherwise things happen very fast and its sort of difficult to keep track. But there are lot of differences in watching cricket sitting in your couch and munching potato chips all by youself and watching the cricket, cheering along with 10,000+ people.
A Greener Ground
I noticed a lot of activities which could be made eco-friendly inside the stadium. Mineral water was sold at exorbitant rates inside the stadium. This is actually good and it will discourage many to buy more than one bottle. But I dunno what will happen to the bottles after the match. Probably I would be a good idea to take these bottles to recycle plants by the bottle manufacturers themselves. Paper bits were made out by shredding the placards and other available papers inside the stadium and people were throwing it to cheer the teams. I dunno how it would cheer the team but it will definitely not cheer the trees that were used to make these paper. A better idea would be to collect all these shreds and packet them and give one packet each to the audience while entering the stadium for the next match. :-) Fundamentally I would appreciate it if everything consumed in the stadium was reduced, reused and recycled.
The 600 bucks I paid for the tickets is totally worth the fun I had. Cheering and dancing with the crowd, sit up exercise between every ball, crowd fury, mexican wave, Chennai’s victory, up-close with cricketers, Dhoni’s 6s, the catches, 6 on freehit, wickets, cheerleaders and the list goes on.
mmhm.. next match 24th May, Saturday, Chennai Vs Rajasthan. Ill be (most probably) back.