Quite predictably the two teams which face off in the IPL league match on Friday — the Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad — wore contrasting moods as they trooped into the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium on Thursday amidst heavy security.
The spot-fixing scandal, which came to light on Thursday morning, left the Royals stunned along with the rest of the cricketing fraternity. The classy Rahul Dravid, the Royals’ skipper, was visibly disturbed and had his scheduled media interaction for the afternoon cancelled.
He, however, hurriedly completed the formality of entertaining winners of a contest at the hotel where the team is put up, even signing a few autographs on the team jersey.
A full-strength Sunrisers, on the other hand, wore a buoyant look. Speedster Dale Steyn was back to his regular habit of feeding the puppies that assemble at the main entrance of the stadium.
The Royals team (minus Shane Watson and Brad Hodge) arrived at the venue late in the evening along with Rahul Dravid for their training session. The sombre-looking team also saw to it that the photographers left the venue immediately after Dravid read out a statement about the scandal.
Moreover, no media person was allowed into the hotel where the Royals stayed right through the day.
“We have strict instructions in this regard,” was the repeated plea of the hotel staff.
It will be interesting to see how the cricket-crazy fans react to the IPL game on Friday in the wake of the scandal.