Sunday, March 27, 2005

A view from the stands

by Nagraj Gollapudi India v Pakistan, 3rd Test, Bangalore on Cricinfo

The afternoon heat was steadily sapping my energy, but it didn't seem to affect most of the fans. There was this young couple who had valiantly brought their newly born. It was like the month-old baby was being trained to enjoy the favourite pastime of the entire country. And it didn't take her long to get used to it – when the heat irritated her and brought her to tears, it only needed some flag waving and screaming from the fans in the stand to get her to wave along happily. Cricket had become her baby-sitter.

My moment of the day, though, came when Sehwag got his double-hundred. When Sehwag was on 199, I noticed the man sitting in front of me get up. His right leg was immobile, and he was using a wooden crutch to walk. As Sehwag's miscue landed in empty space and he reached his landmark, the man clapped and shrieked, joining the thousands who were going wild in celebration. It was a sight that the fan inside me will treasure.


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