ANDHRA PRADESH

Fans put on an equally energetic performance

IND-YEAH! A young fan cheering on the Indian team at the ACA VDCA stadium in Visakhapatnam on Saturday. Photo: K.R. Deepak  

Nivedita Ganguly

Excitement levels do not dip even for a moment

Spectators enter stadium from 6 a.m.Ganguly's return a favourite moment with fans

VISAKHAPATNAM: They came with painted faces, furling tri-colour flags and shouting slogans. Every cricket fan was here in action in a highly charged ambience at the ACA-VDCA stadium to watch the One Day International match between India and Sri Lanka on Saturday. An undercurrent of excitement and tension gripped the jam-packed stadium throughout the match. Nerve-racking moments finally gave way to a match-winning finish and a well-deserved win. It was India's day all through.

The craze started from the crack of dawn as large groups of people came trooping in from as early as 6 a.m. With funky masks, witty messages on chart papers and flags to cheer up their favourites, the crowd provided an exhilarating flavour to the match.

Seating arrangements

So, how far can anyone control large groups of cricket fans waiting to barge in and grab their seats? Yes, there had to be chaos no matter how strict the security was. People came and sat on the nearest chairs, in turn creating a anxiety for the disciplined ones who went looking for their seat numbers only to find strangers already settled in them. But when you see smashing performances by your favourite cricketers, you can settle for anything as long as you can see the match! There were people in the audience who stood through the entire Indian innings, truly believing that their sitting was the reason the run rate was falling! But come afternoon and grub time, overriding hunger brought the fans teeming out of the stadium.

There was a virtual roar whenever an Indian batsman scored even a single; it was almost deafening when Robin Uthappa made his smashing knock and after Ganguly returned to the field to go on till victory was achieved.

The overenthusiastic ones became so excited that they ignored the whistles of the guards and stood on chairs to applaud the Indian batsmen.