Virender Sehwag played for Delhi in Ranji Trophy for the first time in two years © Getty Images
Ghaziabad: Nov 3, 2012
With many star cricketers playing, a strong 12,000 crowd packed the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium for the Ranji Trophy tie between Delhi and Uttar Pradesh here Saturday.
It is a star studded Delhi team with the likes of Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli, Ishant Sharma and Ashish Nehra in its ranks while Uttar Pradesh have Suresh Raina and Mohammed Kaif.
The Test stars are playing the Ranji Trophy match in their bid to get some match-practice ahead of the four-match Test series against England that starts on November 15.
For the locals, it has been a delight as watching so many internationals in a Ranji match is rare in a hectic cricket season.
Vineet Jain, a local resident, is rooting for his state team Uttar Pradesh but the presence of a galaxy of stars in the Delhi team prompted him to come to the stadium.
“I am supporting my state team Uttar Pradesh. But I have come to see stars like Kohli and Sehwag. It is not every day that these big names come to play in a small town,” said Jain.
Jain was one of the lucky few to get an autograph of an international player.
“I took Ishant’s autograph and I will save it,” he said.
The police had a tough time handling the crowd as several spectators jumped over the wall of the complex to get in without valid ticket.
“I am a big fan of Twenty20 cricket. I really like Kohli and Raina and the way they bat. I was disappointed when Kohli got out cheaply yesterday but I hope Raina does well,” Ghaziabad resident and cricket enthusiast Raj Kumar Singh said.
Raj Kumar was later evicted from the stadium by the police and local authorities as he had entered without a ticket.
Chief curator Arvind Dogra said: “We generally get a good crowd here be it club, junior or Ranji Trophy. But this match is witnessing huge crowd due to the stars.”