Mumbai Indians vs Bangalore Royal Challengers, (20 April)
The prospect of seeing Sachin Tendulkar open the batting pulled me to the Indian Premier League’s (IPL’s) first match in Mumbai. As we drove in, I could see the lights and fireworks fill the night sky. Sadly, those were nearly all the fireworks that night.
All around us, there were fans in blue Mumbai Indians T-shirts, flags, headgear and stickers on just about anything, from sari blouses to cola glasses. Given that
this was just the team’s first match, the merchandise seemed a clear winner. It’s well worth getting one of the T-shirts.
Aila! The IPL matches are fun if you come prepared
Tendulkar wasn’t playing. The match started slowly, but ended on a knife’s edge. Pity Mumbai lost. Once Tendulkar is back in action, the atmosphere should be even better.
The wide assortment of ushers, security guards, caterers and cops seemed to know nothing about the stadium’s labyrinthine seating system and directed us the wrong way. When we finally found our seats, there was a large and angry family already sitting there—and it refused to budge.
Maybe because the Mumbai Indians were struggling to post a big score and the Bangalore Royal Challengers didn’t provide fireworks till nearly the end, IPL’s famed cheerleaders remained glued to their seats. The Challengers’ cheerleaders, flown in all the way from Washington, at least managed to occasionally twirl shiny pompoms from their seats. Mumbai’s Shiamak Davar cheerleaders didn’t even do that much, and were stubbornly asynchronous in their movements.
Getting snacks and drinks involved much pushing and shoving. The Kailash Parbat caterers ran out of food. But, the stalls were still in business because the enterprising sales guys were selling bottled water by the glass to the thirsty crowd.
All in all, put on your Mumbai Indians T-shirt (they rock!), make sure the stars are playing, have a nice dinner, and then—and only then—abandon that comfy perch in front of your television.
Here is my list of dos and don’ts for the next IPL match:
* Use public transport. Parking can be a mess
* Arrive early and allow plenty of time to find your seats
* Wear comfortable shoes as you will have to walk around a lot
* Carry a pair of binoculars
* Forget about carrying food or drink (even water). The guards won’t let you take it in.
All Mumbai IPL league matches will take place at the new DY Patil stadium in Nerul. Tickets start from Rs200. Tickets for good seats cost upwards of Rs500. Go to www.kyazoonga.com for tickets to Mumbai Indians and Delhi Daredevils matches (for all other locations, go to www.ticketpro.in; rates differ for each location).