The usual markers which hint at another summer of instant gratification through cricket are all there at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore here.
Parts of the mix are fans thronging the ticket counters, the police doing security drills, cheerleaders working on their steps and massive speakers that threaten to split the eardrums once Thursday night’s game kicks off between Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Mumbai Indians.
Add to it the innumerable glitzy LED screens placed all over the venue that will give match information as well as peddle brands, and the blurring of lines between cricket, commerce and entertainment now complete.
RCB has a new captain in Virat Kohli while the crowd as usual will expect Chris Gayle to rain his sixes. The Caribbean swashbuckler, meanwhile, has been whipping up some fan frenzy on his Twitter page by asking, “Who is a supporter?”
The home team’s local flavour will firmly rest on the shoulders of R. Vinay Kumar and company while its former chief mentor Anil Kumble is now part of rival Mumbai Indians’ set-up. “Anil has obviously been a part of RCB and has done a great job. Everyone moves on and he is not here,” Daniel Vettori said.
Fans will also root for Sachin Tendulkar, who as always will be a key player in the Mumbai Indians squad led by Ricky Ponting.
The stage is set for the big tussle and for once, despite the scorching summer, Bangaloreans will pray that the rain stays away.
And for those who prefer sport without any frills, there is an additional option this weekend as India takes on Indonesia in a Davis Cup tennis fixture at the KSLTA courts in Cubbon Park.