20 – 20 cricket playoffs in Bangalore

In May 2012 I went to Bangalore, India for business. On my way downtown from the airport I noticed the huge cricket stadium. I kept it in mind and later that week it turned out the playoffs were full on. That Wednesday I witnessed my first cricket match!May 18 in 2012 I arrived in Bangalore early morning around 5 am. I took a cab to my luxurious hotel. During the one hour journey from the airport I checked out the surroundings to get an idea of what the city could be like. Once we were more or less downtown I spotted the big Chinnaswamy stadium. The cabdriver had no idea about the cricket schedule, which is really strange for an Indian guy, but I kept it in mind…

The next days I was about to meet my friend John who I had met on an earlier business encounter and he soon told me we were in the middle of playoffs season. India is big and has many big cities so chances of a match in Bangalore were small I thought. The Royal Challengers, Bangalore’s local team, just missed the playoffs but there was still a semi final (or some sort of equivalent) to be played on Wednesday in India’s IT-capital. My luck seemed to turn when John told me the match was sold out. Monday was my first day at the office and I immediately asked my colleagues about tickets and everybody started talking and calling friends etc. A mere 15 minutes later I was the proud owner of 2 tickets for Chennai Super Kings versus the Mumbai Indians!

I left the office a bit early on Wednesday in order to be on time at the stadium. Indian cities are hectic so everything takes time. As a result I was a bit late and my friend John was waiting at the gate. The lines were huge and we had no choice but to simply line up and wait. We finally made it into the stadium where things were more organized than I expected. I have to admin I expected the worst…

The crowd was excited but I still had to understand the game. I had never watched a cricket match, not even on television. I was just excited to be there because it’s their culture and it was a big occasion so I felt privileged to be there. It turned out that the cricket equivalent of Pele is still playing for Mumbai and the people got crazy when he only stood up, let alone caught a ball. His name: Sachin Tendulkar.
Luckily for me this was a 20-20 match because otherwise it would have taken too long. A cricket match is actually really boring overall and the real excitement can be found at the end (as in most sports…) but the first three hours or so are not that spectacular to be honest. This match was really one sided as Chennai had many runs in the end and their captain Dhoni played terrific (a fas as I could tell) and therefore Mumbai more or less gave over after 10 overs when they noticed the Chennai score was out of reach.

Still it was a great experience. I love stadiums and it was great to witness the joy of the many locals. The biggest challenge of the evening turned out to be leaving the stadium. Being chaotic and not so organized around 50.000 people left the stadium at the same time and every single one wanted to be outside as soon as possible. The result can be seen in the picture shown on the left…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *