Bengaluru, April 16 (IANS) A spell of summer showers in the evening cooling the weather and a Sunday holiday brought thousands of frenzied fans to the Chinnawsamy stadium to watch an exciting tie between hosts Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) in the Indian Premier League (IPL-10) tournament here.
The 40,000-seat stadium was packed with fans from across the city and even from outside the state, thanks to a three-day holiday since Good Friday.
"IPL is a sellout in this cricket-crazy city every year. All tickets for the games on Friday and Sunday were sold out due to Easter holidays. With annual exams for schools and colleges over and summer vacation beginning, hundreds of students enjoy watching matches in the stadium than on television screen at home," a Karnataka State Cricket Association official (KSCA) told IANS.
With half the seats in the stadium reserved for various stakeholders, including the franchise, sponsors, members of the KSCA and other cricket associations and complimentary passes for VIPs, police and others, there is a scramble for even the lowest-priced ticket (Rs 800) and heavy rush for highest-priced tickets, which are sold online by the host franchise.
"Watching an IPL match in the stadium is a real fun and entertaining. We get to see favourites like Virat Kolhi, A.B. de Villiers and others play from a close range and enjoy them hitting the ball hard. The atmosphere in the stands is surcharged and electrifying, with boisterous fans hooting, cheering and dancing," said Bharat Kumar, a student.
Though reaching the stadium in the city centre even on a Sunday night was an uphill task due to traffic jams, grid locks on arterial roads and poor pubic transport, thousands of fans rushed there stadium two hours before the match began for a seat in the stands and place for their vehicles, as parking is banned within 1km around the venue.
"As we don't get time or chance to watch Test or One-Day cricket for various reasons, it's worth the trouble to come and see a T-20 game under floodlights. We forget the difficulties we face in reaching the venue and the security hassles once we enter the stadium and the game starts," said M. Govardhan, an event manager.