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Excitement reaches a crescendo

Special Correspondent
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Groups of youngsters go around city drumming up support for India

Enthusiasm overflows: Fans hold a giant tricolour in Mysore on Saturday in the run-up to the final of the cricket World Cup.
Enthusiasm overflows: Fans hold a giant tricolour in Mysore on Saturday in the run-up to the final of the cricket World Cup.

The excitement in the build-up to the ICC World Cup cricket final at the Wankhede Stadium on Saturday was phenomenal, with the city having never seen anything like it.

The 1983 victory was a distant memory for the present generation, as they got ready for the ultimate match.

Groups of students — boys and girls — went around the city on motorcycles and in jeeps holding aloft the national flag and drumming up support for Team India.

Similar scenes were witnessed across the city with several youngsters having painted the tricolour on their faces.

A group of cricket enthusiasts on Irwin Road held one of the biggest national flags seen in the city, drawing the attention of the public.

Hotels and resorts went all out, installing big screens and luring fans with a “welcome drink”.

A giant screen was also installed at the Rajendra Bhavan in the JSS hospital complex.

A few self-appointed leaders of the community capitalised on public sentiment and giant hoardings, normally seen only during elections or while greeting a party leader, sprung up around the city, with images of cricket stars in action juxtaposed with images of leaders.

Offices too got into the spirit of things, by installing 40' plasma and LCD screens.

By noon, there was less traffic on the roads.

However, after it was known that India would bat second there was a perceptible increase in traffic.

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