Saturday, May 03, 2008

A night at Kotla

Kotla by Night. From up above.

I have this dream of watching a cricket match in every stadium possible. I took one step forward this week towards the completion of this quest.

We went to witness an IPL T20 match between Delhi Daredevils and Royal Challengers Bangalore. I had booked a dozen tickets, half a dozen by mistake, so it was just a matter of choosing the company. That wasn't the tough part, of course. The tough part was getting to Kotla on a sweltering summer day to collect the tickets and do a full circumference of the stadium before getting to the right counter. This seriously made me wonder if all this was worth the effort. But then I am a veteran of standing in 4 km lines to get into a cricket stadium, only to kneel down on concrete and watch the match for 25 overs. Getting old brings that element of skepticism with it I guess.

Anyway, expect for the heavy traffic congestion everything else was smooth sailing. The stands were full but not over packed. The view was good from the north-west stand we were in, right next to the sight screen. But, having watched a match each in Wankhedede and Brabourne, I was left wanting for much more. The scoreboard was pathetic, they could do with an electronic scoreboard. The so called 'big' screen wasn't big enough, and the little they managed to show of the action on the field was of quality comparable to grainy low quality porn videos (so I'm told :D ).

The 'glam' element was equally obscene. I mean I'm not there to watch 'Akki' waving hands at a place he doesn't belong to. And a sad Kailash Kher singing songs I have and would never hear. Cheerleaders bring little cheer, when they are Indianised. The purpose gets lost. But then about 99.99% of the people were happy, ecstatic in fact. I guess we won't we getting a live rock show at a stadium soon enough then.

All said and done, the view from the top tier, right next to the floodlights up above, was surreal. The ground looked like an exotic green carpet, with toy like players sliding and running about. That's the view I've tried to capture with the slightly less than adequate phone camera.

Continuing this quest, we head to Jaipur tomorrow. It is not the first time I have seen the great Shane Warne and the local Dhoni in action on a cricket field. Then, you can never have enough.

I am divided though. Warney or Dhoni? Sentimental!

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