Chennai

IPL galleries come up in Chennai

Residents of Rani Meyyammai Towers celebrate CSK's win in the IPL2021 finals  

When Kolkata Knight Riders’ innings had entered the death overs in the IPL 2021 finals, to further belabour an already much-battered cliche, everything was over bar the shouting. And the shouting was deafening as it was not restricted to a swanky sporting acreage in Dubai, with its limited crop of Chennai Super Kings fans. It was blasting out of pockets of Chennai, where some gated communities had rustled up galleries in front of giant screens.

Appaswamy Orchards in Vadapalani has a history of big-screen screening of big-ticket cricket matches involving India and Chennai Super Kings. The community was not going to sit cooped up at individual homes and let the moment pass with weak and scattered roars of delight.

“We have screened the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup; and crucial CSK matches from the past editions of IPL,” says Manikandan Venkataraman, secretary of the residents association at Appaswamy Orchards.

As the viewing area is always al fresco, near the car park and the club house, and the community has diligently pursued vaccination, they could wade into the decision to screen the finals, with a degree of self-assurance.

“We are happy to inform you all that IPL 2021 - Final Match will be screened in the ‘BIG SCREEN’ near the club house open area from 7 p.m. to match closing on Friday 15th October 2021. All are welcome to enjoy the match, but strictly with Covid protocols,” read the chirpy and cautious note from the secretary.

“This was the first event we are conducting after the Second Wave and the restrictions were relaxed,” notes Manikandan. “We had arranged for a food outlet to bring in their burgers and pizzas by a mobile shop that would be parked at the community during the match.”

The finals being screened at Orchards in Vadapalani

The finals being screened at Orchards in Vadapalani  

Before the match began, allrounder Aditya Giridhar, a name recognised from Tamil Nadu Premier League, having played for Ruby Trichy Warriors, and more recently, Tiruppur Tamizhans, revealed the plans he had pencilled in for the evening. A resident of Orchards for the last eight years, Aditya expected to catch the second half of the CSK-KKR match around the giant screen.

He confided his fears though: CSK has lost the two finals he had watched on the big screen at the community, and that memory was weighing on his mind.

Rani Meyyammai Towers (RMT) in RA Puram is another of those sports-friendly communities that were not going to deny its residents, particularly children, the joy of a shared celebration of what could possibly turn out to be CSK’s day.

“During IPL 2021, the children at the apartment have been getting together in smaller groups and taking turns to watch at each home cheering for CSK. They really wanted to watch the finals together, and so we arranged for a projector and had the match screened for them,” says Jayashree Sundaresan, a member of the sports committee at RMT.

As it turned out, it was CSK’s day. And from a video, a gaggle of excited RMT youngsters threatened to lift the roof with a sonic blast, when the match was speeding towards a CSK victory.

When the penultimate over bowled by Shardul Thakur was delaying the inevitable with its wides and no-ball, the “pavilion” at RMT erupted in disappointment, palatable and made enjoyable by the assurance of a CSK win.

“We were hoping he would get the last two wickets and were screaming at the top of our lungs when he kept stretching it,” recalls Jayashree.

“Every ball we shouted “wicket wicket” — all of us have lost our voices now, but are super excited and thrilled,” she reported in a running commentary on the reactions to the ongoing match.

Notably, both the communities were keen on seizing the Olympic spirit and organise their own versions of mini Olympics that the pandemic and the size of their communities would allow.

“We have an annual sports event, and this being a Olympic year, we were planning something called Orchards Olympics. We usually have table tennis, badminton, chess and all the other indoor games, and this year we wanted to take it outdoors in a big way and have a six-a-side cricket tournament and also a Orchards Mini Marathon that would require participants to do five rounds of a course marked around the community. An Orchards torch and relay were also on the drawing board. We have not given up on the plan and hope we could have it in December,” discloses Manikandan, and touches upon how sports-centric the community is. “We have opened up the play areas, and in the evening, if one comes downstairs to the open areas, they could see a hundred people, mostly children, playing a variety of sports.”

RMT has also had to put on hold its “Olympic dreams” fuelled by the expansive turf they got installed last year. “At this point, we are thinking of December as that would be the holiday season, provided the Covid situation takes a favourable turn,” says Jayashree. “We are planning on having both track and field and team events. We wanted to do cricket, football, throwball, badminton and relay races. We have the turf, where we can organise running events, cricket, throwball and football. By installing the basketball hoops in the turf area, we can have that sport as well.”


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Printable version | Dec 3, 2021 4:55:17 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/ipl-galleries-come-up-in-chennai/article37030641.ece

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