Staff Reporter

Even girls had ‘Chak de India’ inscribed on their cheeks and foreheads

But the enthusiasm shown in the morning evaporated as India lost the match

HYDERABAD: A ‘Chak de India’ spirit enveloped the city on Friday. Thousands of cricket fans thronged the Rajiv Gandhi cricket stadium with the same theme, cheering Team India to prove its one-upmanship over the Aussies in the one-day international cricket match.

Jubilant fans marched up to the stadium holding placards and banners. Even girls had ‘Chak de India’ inscribed on their bubbly cheeks and foreheads against a background of the tri-colour. The atmosphere outside Gate-5 and 4 was electrifying with people regardless of their age, cheering fellow spectators with the song ‘Chak de… Chak de India.’

But the enthusiasm shown in the morning evaporated as India lost the match. The lack of euphoria was very much visible, as crowds came out onto the road from the stadium, a shade disappointed, despite a terrific knock by Yuvaraj.

A dozen medicos drew spectators’ attention with their unique attire. Clad in a white T-shirts and jeans, students wore T-shirts displaying ‘Chak de’ in blue. “We bought the new dress just for today”, a charged Harish explained.

College girls felt Indian captain Dhoni and Vice-Captain Yuvraj Singh would definitely entertain the crowds with their boundaries. “Yuvi will rock”, an Intermediate student Nirupama said. Another girl sported a different look, getting Dhoni’s name and the national flag inscribed on her forehead.

A businessman and his family from Trimulgherry turned up with traditional Rajasthani turbans and in ‘Maharaja’ dresses.

Utter chaos prevailed when fans queued-up on the main stretch at Genpact in Uppal. Altercations ensued between police constables and fans over entering the stadium despite erecting sign boards on the road indicating colour of the passes.

Those selling tickets in black had a field day. A Rs.250 ticket fetched them anywhere from Rs.750 to Rs.1,000.

When such an event takes the twin cities by storm, will tinsel town personalities be far behind? Among those from the film industry who generated quite a wee bit of attention from the cricket-crazy Hyderabadis were Victory Venkatesh, Srikanth and Saikumar.