20,330 spectators watch India defeat New Zealand at Uppal
For the biggest crowd (to be precise 20,330) which turned up at Rajiv Gandhi Stadium where India wrapped up the Test against New Zealand by an innings margin, there were many moments to cherish on Sunday. Like the magic of off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, the guiles of their very own left-armer Pragyan Ojha and the wonderful century of Cheteshwar Pujara on the first day.
But what could have gone almost unnoticed is the amazing commitment by the dedicated ground staff which was solely responsible for putting in placing conditions good enough to start the match after a two-hour delay.
This is remarkable considering that not many were hopeful of any play before lunch break given the wet outfield.
A situation which saw former Test star and now BCCI vice-president N. Shivlal Yadav personally monitor the mopping up operations at the far-end to be joined by HCA secretary Dr. M. V. Sridhar and another former India left-arm spinner S. L. Venkatapathi Raju.
The immense cricketing experience helped curator Y. L. Chandrasekhar and his team of untiring staff who slogged till early hours after yesterday afternoon showers to ensure there were enough sessions of play which the Indian team was looking for to go for the kill against the Kiwis. It was not surprising to see captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni walk across to have a word or two of appreciation to the curator. And, when Aswhin said at the end that he enjoyed the pitch – which had turn and bounce, HCA should have heaved a sigh of relief for scripting a Test win as per the wishes of Dhoni.
Meanwhile, Mr. Sridhar announced one month's salary bonus for the ground staff for the splendid work that they did.