Home > Features >

India vs Sri Lanka ICC World T20 Final: Fans soak in the atmosphere

Cricket lovers have flown in from all corners of the world to soak in this extravaganza of cricket © Getty Images
Cricket lovers have flown in from all corners of the world to soak in this extravaganza of cricket © Getty Images

The Indian fans would be present at the Sher-E-Bangla National Stadium, when their team takes on Sri Lanka for the ICC World T20 2014 final. Nishad Pai Vaidya reflects on the mood at the scene and speaks to people from different parts of the globe.

As the Indian team indulged in its game of football on the eve of the final, you could see a huge Indian flag waving in the background. The bearer was none other than their loyal fan Sudhir Kumar Gautam. We all know him as the one who paints his body in the tri-colour and etched the word “Tendulkar” on his chest. But, a day before the game, he was in a normal attire, only there to raise the spirits of the side. Sudhir had become a famous name due to his unparalleled passion and people in Bangladesh also know him.

“Woh Sudhir wahan par rahta hai,” (Hindi for: That Sudhir stays there) said a Bangladeshi fan, pointing towards a building close to the stadium, when I asked about his whereabouts. Sudhir is staying a stone’s throw away from the Sher-E-Bangla National Stadium and most fans and volunteers know where to find him. As this writer collected his accreditation pass, a man approached me, “Sir, main Assam se aaya hoon. Badi shauk se match dekhna hai. Kya aapke paas ticket hai?” (Sir, I have come from Assam with great hope to watch the match. Do you have a ticket) With tickets hard to come by, the fans often approach their own journalists for help.

I was unable to help him, so the man said, “Koi baat nahi. Main Sudhir se poochta hoon. Suna hai who help karega.” (No problems. I will ask Sudhir I have heard he can help) Fans want to catch a glimpse of play here. On the eve of the final, dozens of fans gathered around the well-lit Sher-E-Bangla National Stadium. The most common word you could here there was “tickets.” And, in the age of camera phones, how can you forget the new Ellen de Generes created rage – the selfie. One can see many fans posing with the stadium in the backdrop. If they don’t find someone to take a picture, they help themselves.

And as the hours ticked and both India and Sri Lanka braced for the big game, there was a word that the two icons of Bollywood, Aamir Khan and Shah Rukh Khan would make their way to Dhaka. They are human after all, and the Indian fans won’t forget one thing: Shah Rukh was at Johannesburg in 2007 and Aamir was at the Wankhede in 2011. There will be some buzz if they come and appear on the giant screen. Expect a huge roar from the local crowds, who should come in numbers. As one fan told me, “In our country, you will find people coming for any game. We love our sport.” Doesn’t matter if the Bangladesh team isn’t here.

Chicago Hope in Dhaka

When there is a world event, people from all around the globe and all walks of life flock to follow their passion. When the Super 10s came to a close at the Sher-E-Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur, this writer met two individuals who came all the way from Chicago for the love of cricket. And interestingly, they came in different capacities. It is quite fascinating to see the two men making the long journey, away from their families. And, this isn’t the first time they have done it.

Meet Dr Nilesh Mehta, an oncologist based in Chicago. He has come to Dhaka as a journalist, covering the World T20 for an Indian newspaper in Chicago. This is his fifth World Cup since starting off in St Lucia during the 2007 tournament in the West Indies. Yes, he has not missed some of the big moments in the recent times. “When MS Dhoni hit that six to win the World Cup, I was there in the press box,” he says. “This is my passion and I do take time out to come and cover the World events,” says Dr Mehta.

Hailing from Baroda, Dr Mehta knew a few cricketing figures in the city. After completing his education, he moved to the United States and has been based there. This may be his hobby, but he also loves his golf. Gaurav Joshi, my fellow writer at CricketCountry also likes to play golf and the two men were instantly making plans for a round. They then turned towards me, and he said, “That is one sport I don’t understand.” Then, Dr Mehta points towards the stands and says, “You see that man there. He is also from Chicago.” He was talking about a Cricket Chacha look-alike, who is rumoured to have been cooking biryani for the Pakistan team.

“I am a cricket fan and follow the Pakistan team. Now, that Pakistan has lost, will support my wife’s team. She is from Hyderabad in India. Can’t argue with my wife, plus I have no choice now,” said Mohammad Basheer Bozai. “Main Chicago mein Hyderabadi biryani bechta hoon, isiliye logon ne yahan mazaak me bola hai,” (Urdu for: I sell Hyderabadi biryani in Chicago, and hence people have cheekily spread that news). And, as his wife’s team fought it out in the semi-final against South Africa, Bozai was still here and will also be seen at the stadium for the final. Dr Mehta though, had to leave for Chicago to attend to his patients.

The buzz and all the drama reaches its crescendo on Sunday. On Monday, Dhaka will go back to its normal life and the banners depicting the festival of cricket would gradually come off.

(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_44)

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 30, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Abu Dhabi

Sri Lanka tour of India, 2014

Nov 2, 2014 (13:30 IST)   at Cuttack

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 3, 2014 (09:00 IST)   at Khulna

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 5, 2014 (14:05 IST)   at Adelaide

Sri Lanka tour of India, 2014

Nov 6, 2014 (13:30 IST)   at Ahmedabad

More

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Nov 15, 2014  at Ahmedabad

Match cancelled

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Nov 7, 2014  at Bengaluru

Match cancelled

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 30, 2014  at Hyderabad

Match cancelled

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 27, 2014  at Hamilton

No result

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014  at Dhaka

Bangladesh won by 3 wkts

Photos

Pakistan vs Australia, 2nd Test

Videos

Tendulkar provides teaser on upcoming book

Live Cricket Score Duleep Trophy Central Zone vs South Zone, final at Delhi Day 4: Pragyan Ojha dismisses Mahesh Rawat; Central Zone 219 for 5

Live Cricket Score: Pakistan vs Australia, 2nd Test, Day 3 at Abu Dhabi

Don Bradman dismissed twice on the same day

Rohit Sharma looks to strengthen career after an inconsistent year

Yuvraj Singh — have we seen the last of the man who won India three World Cups?

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan Australia vs Pakistan 2014 Central Zone Duleep Trophy Duleep Trophy 2014-15 India Pakistan Pakistan vs Australia Pakistan vs Australia 2014 South Zone South Zone vs Central Zone Sri Lanka Sri Lanka tour of India 2014

Duleep Trophy 2014-15 final: Robin Bist completes 4,000 First Class runs

Live Streaming: Pakistan vs Australia, 2nd Test, Day 3 at Abu Dhabi

Live Scorecard: Pakistan vs Australia, 2nd Test Day 3 at Abu Dhabi

Pakistan vs Australia Live Cricket Score, 2nd Test at Abu Dhabi Day 3

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Brad Haddin feels he will be able to bat despite injury

Don Bradman dismissed twice on the same day

Virat Kohli’s captaincy opportunities important in context of India’s succession plans

Rohit Sharma looks to strengthen career after an inconsistent year

Younis Khan equals Javed Miandad’s record of most 150+ scores by Pakistan batsman

India vs Sri Lanka 2014: Manish Pandey showing signs of fulfilling potential

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

678 Posts | 6 Fans

Video Highlights: Younis Khan century during Pakistan vs Australia 1st Test at Dubai

India A vs Sri Lanka: Fringe players look to impress

NGOs pursue education for all

Dance Basanti from Ungli: Put on your dancing shoes and practice the Basanti move!

Weight Loss Tip #59: Eat oranges to lose weight

Sensex surges 150 points in early trade to regain 27,000-mark

PricewaterhouseCoopers partners Google to offer business solutions to clients

Google X Lab working on nanoparticles to help detect diseases early

Priyanka Chopra has the best no make-up selfie on Instagram, think fans!

Lisa Haydon: I slept off midway while watching the original Shaukeen!

International programme in Animal Husbandry

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here