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)

India tour of England 2014

Sep 2, 2014 (15:00 IST)   at Birmingham

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Sep 2, 2014 (13:00 IST)   at Harare

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Sep 4, 2014 (13:00 IST)   at Harare

India tour of England 2014

Sep 5, 2014 (15:00 IST)   at Leeds

Bangladesh Tour of West Indies, 2014

Sep 5, 2014 (19:30 IST)   at Kingstown, St Vincent

More

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 31, 2014  at Harare

Zimbabwe won by 3 wkts

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 30, 2014  at Dambulla

SL won by 7 wkts (D/L method)

India tour of England 2014

Aug 30, 2014  at Nottingham

India won by 6 wkts

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 29, 2014  at Harare

South Africa won by 61 runs

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 27, 2014  at Harare

South Africa won by 7 wkts

Photos

Australia vs Zimbabwe, ODI tri-series at Harare

Videos

Misbah disppointed with Pakistan's performance

India vs England Live Cricket score, 4th ODI at Edgbaston: Fifty for Moeen Ali

Australia vs South Africa Live Cricket Score, Zimbabwe Tri Series 2014 Match 5 at Harare: Australia set a target of 283

India vs England 2014, 4th ODI at Edgbaston: Key Battles

Ishant Sharma: 10 facts you need to know about the towering Indian paceman

India vs England 4th ODI at Birmingham: England likely XI

Australia Australia and South Africa in Zimbabwe 2014 Australia vs Zimbabwe England England vs India England vs India 2014 India India tour of England 2014 India vs England India vs England 2014 Pakistan South Africa Zimbabwe Zimbabwe Triangular Series 2014 Zimbabwe vs Australia

India vs England 2014, 4th ODI at Edgbaston: Moeen Ali gets fifty

India vs England 2014, 4th ODI at Edgbaston: Jos Buttler dismissed by Mohammed Shami

Mitchell Marsh records highest strike rate in an ODI innings for Australia against South Africa

India vs England 2014, 4th ODI at Edgbaston: Moeen Ali, Jos Buttler aim fightback

India vs England 2014, 4th ODI at Edgbaston: Joe Root dismissed by Suresh Raina

Mitchell Marsh records highest strike rate in an ODI innings for Australia against South Africa

N Srinivasan faces a two-month wait as Mudgal commission prepares final report

Norman Gordon passes away at 103

Australia vs South Africa, 4th ODI at Harare: Key Clashes

Tom Groube: First New Zealand-born cricketer to play a Test

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

626 Posts | 7 Fans

Videos highlights of Serey Die crying during Ivory Coast's national anthem in FIFA World Cup 2014 match

Xiaomi Redmi 1S second sale scheduled for September 9 while first batch gets delivered on September 16

Diya Aur Baati Hum: Anas Rashid and Dipika Singh celebrate as their show completes 3 years

Yoga to deal with anxiety disorders

सोने के वक्त मोबाइल अपने तकिये के पास क्यों नहीं रखना चाहिए ?

NASA building traffic control system for drones

Aagadu Bhelpuri song teaser: Mahesh Babu and Tamannaah sizzle together!

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here