With summer ushering in cricket frenzy, fans of the sport share with Ranjani Rajendra their plans for the season

It’s that time of the year when people come up with innovative excuses to bunk work or a class, just so they can kick back and enjoy a game of cricket.

With the ongoing T20 World Cup and the forthcoming IPL season, cricket fever has truly set in. Step into any sports lounge or restaurant and all eyes are riveted on the television screen. A typical work day will have people frantically googling scores while weekends are usually marathon cricket watching sessions. Elaborate plans are already being made to host house parties in sync with cricket matches and the excitement is almost palpable.

“I absolutely love cricket and can’t miss any match. I closely follow both the T20 World Cup and IPL and I’m really looking forward to a summer of nothing but cricket. Often when my friends ask me to head out with them, I instead make them join me in front of the television when a match is going on,” says Athira Sasidharan, a student.

Karthick Umesh, banking professional, couldn’t agree more. “I’m very excited with the ongoing ICC T20 and with the IPL coming up. It’s a good excuse to sit back at home and relax in this heat. Team India has started off its T20 campaign well and that makes the tournament all the more exciting,” he says, adding that he is disappointed that a part of the IPL matches are being held abroad. “It's very disappointing that there will be fewer IPL matches being played here. Since the teams are local it is more fun to have local crowds cheering for them.” “I hope some of the playoffs are scheduled to be played in Hyderabad,” says Athira, adding, “Watching a match at the stadium is a different experience altogether; the energy and enthusiasm there is different.” Arun R. Nair, a student at Gitam University, too makes it a point to catch every match. “I’ve been a cricket lover since childhood. Back then we would switch on the television only when Sachin Tendulkar was batting. But as I understood the game, my love for it grew. These days I wouldn’t miss any match unless I have an exam that day. The next couple of months are going to be nothing but cricket for me,” he says.

Not everyone is a fan of the T20 form of cricket however. For many purists, Test cricket still remains the best form of the sport and the newer versions are nothing but entertainment. “I’m a huge cricket fan but I really enjoy Test matches. The T20 versions are just not about the true spirit of the sport. In fact, I think IPL is overhyped. It is more about the entertainment, celebs and the money than the sport. T20 World Cup on the other hand is better and I’ve been following this series,” says Meghana Naidu, a student at St. Francis, who supports Australia. “I’ve always liked the way they play the game and I make sure I never miss a match that Australia plays. Their recent defeat against Pakistan in the ICC T20 was crushing,” explains Meghana, who still goes along with family and friends for IPL matches just for the whole experience.