May 30, 2020
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Partaking In The Cricket Orgy

Partaking In The Cricket Orgy
outlookindia.com
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I am sick up to here of the World Cup," everyone you meet says, indicating a spot, well over their heads, and then proceeds to discuss who will win it, plus who is better. Sachin or Lara. Warne or Mushtaq. Waugh or Waugh. Thanks to the Shiv Sena, Bombay got only one match, and that too a league game. But with the party's threat that it wouldn't allow Pakistan to play here, and there being no way of knowing in advance who would play whom quarter-finals onwards, the knock-out matches went elsewhere (including, of all places, Mohali).

Luckily, that one game for Bombay was one of the best: Australia vs India and a seat at Wankhede became the biggest hot ticket in town. Office bearers of the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) and Gymkhana clubs who had even the remotest connection with the match became little czars overnight. Queues formed at the stadium 12 hours before the tickets were to go on sale, but the police lathi-charged them because they were a 'security-risk'.

The stadium, nonetheless, sold out. The original capacity of the Wankhede was 43,000. This was reduced to 38,000 because of Megavision, a giant video-screen for slow-motion replays especially installed for the match. So, how many people were finally in the stadium? Why, 43,000, of course, the extra 5,000 being accommodated in the passages, emergency exit corridors and in-between seats.

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