With prayers on their lips and hope in heart, the cricket-loving denizens are gearing up for the ICC World Cup final between India and Sri Lanka to be held at Mumbai's Wankhade Stadium on Saturday.
Clubs and hotels are all set to go for the ‘final kill' by making grandiose arrangements for the customers who throng to watch the summit clash. The city landscape will be a repeat of Wednesday as the roads will invariably be deserted and offices, shopping malls empty with people more eager to catch the action live on televisions.
“After a gap of 28 years, India has a chance to lift the prestigious cup for the second time since its inception in 1975. The title triumph will help the game to grow further and many youngsters and parents are likely to show interest towards the game,” felt Krishna District Cricket Association (KDCA) secretary Koka Ramesh.
KDCA is installing a huge screen at Indira Gandhi Municipal Stadium to enable the cricket enthusiasts to watch the game amidst pleasant atmosphere.
“We are launching a ‘Best of Luck India' signature campaign at IGMC stadium in the morning and all the top city administrators such as VMC Commissioner and Joint Collector will pledge their support,” said Mr. Ramesh.
Meanwhile, the city police department is also taking all the necessary precaution by deploying the mobile teams in all the sensitive areas to check the ‘wild' celebration that follows after the match.
Former India international and Andhra Cricket Association director M.S.K. Prasad is backing India to the hilt and felt India beating two former world champions (Australia in quarterfinals and Pakistan in semi-finals) will stand in good stead while facing another champion Sri Lanka.
“I want off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin to play. He is an intelligent bowler who can frustrate the batsmen with his line and length. His carom ball will be a surprise weapon,” he said.
Mr. Prasad, former India wicket-keeper, said the World Cup victory will revive the glory of 50-over format as its very survival was questioned by critics after the invention of 20-20 format. “Cricketers will come out of the 20-20 mindset and will concentrate once again to master the longer format,” he added.