The 30,000-plus crowd had the spirit to trigger off ‘Mexican Waves’ even if there was not a drop of water to drink

Spectators brushed aside security fears, frisking and poor amenities at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium at Uppal, displaying their unbridled passion for the willow sport during the ongoing second Test match between India and Australia.

Braving the blazing sun, the 30,000-plus crowd had the spirit to trigger off ‘Mexican Waves’ even if there was not a drop of water to drink. The die-hard fans had to face the full fury of the sun. All the talk by the Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) of providing some kind of shelter was literally reduced to pre-match publicity. HCA president G. Vinod claims that the association had to drop the idea of a temporary roofing over the stands as it was felt that it might not withstand the ‘winds’. Howz that?

The jacked-up prices of eatables and refreshments were another dampener for cricket fans. They were left to the mercy of vendors selling eatables at abnormal prices even as police did not allow anything to be taken inside.

“It was so hot that I had to send back my family home. Drinking water was scarce, and food items were priced very steep as always. The stadium and the ground are beautiful, but no one seems to be bothered about cricket fans watching the match live,” bemoaned Nihal, a spectator.

It is a shame that these were actually the paying public unlike a majority in the other stands armed with complimentaries. Fans might also be disappointed for not having their favourite star Sachin Tendulkar bat and the painstakingly slow morning session.

But they sure did enjoy the centuries of Cheteshwar Pujara and Murali Vijay. The way the entire crowd stood up to lustily cheer the centurions also proved that they were there to appreciate good cricket.

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