Stage set for IPL opening night
The Garden city is agog with the excitement of hosting the first ever tie of the Indian Premier League match at the Chinnaswamy stadium here and is wearing a new look as teams have arrived in full spirits.
Spirits? Yes spirits, the beer baronís team Royal Challengers sporting the official colors of the Kingfisher company Red and yellow (which coincides with the colours of the Karnatakaís Kannada flag) led by Rahul Dravid has arrived and the excitement is really taking the Bangaloreans by storm.
The stadium which till now wore a drab colour of concrete also wears the colour of the Royal Challengers right from the steps leading to the pavilion and the commentators box and VIP lounge the stadium has been completely re-done with a certain colour combination.
The various classes of stands and gates have been renamed. RC club, McDowells stalls and so on. Gone are the days when the stands use to have the names of famous cricketers.
Infact the sponsors of the Royal Challengers -Vijay Mallya and his company has left no stone unturned in making the IPL a success, infact it has stolen the thunder from the mecca of Cricket - Mumbai in India. There is a bunch of lovely buxom swankily and scarcely clad cheer leaders who have arrived in Bangalore and they had a dry run on Wednesday. The teams namely Royal Challengers and the Knight Riders have also had a practice session in the night under the flood lit conditions.
The favourite sport, (or should we call it a game?) has undergone changes, Lala Amarnath and Gary Sobers would not have approved of it and the Don must be rolling in his grave. The condition of their sport has been reduced to a money making proposition. The gentlemanís game which was how it was called not so long ago has been reduced to a mere gamble.
Players clad in myriad colours unlike the respectful whites and the national one day colours, flamboyant and aging businessmen, balding and pot bellied executives have taken control of the game. The national players which the country saluted in defeat and victory have been reduced to mere club players.
But the cricket fans have taken it in their stride they had accepted the changes and are trying to adopt their preferences of the game to the new environment. According to one of the officials of the organizers of the Royal Challengers there will be fireworks, prize galore for both players and the audience and many more attractions which he refused to divulge as they were supposed to be well guarded secrets he said with a mischievous look and a blink at this reporter.
The Cheer leaders is a special attraction, the group that has been formed taking damsels from various parts of the world will be a new inclusion in the world of Cricket. When Jaques Kallis or Dravid are not able to provide the expected entertainment, the Cheer leaders will do that in their own style.
The Chinnaswamy stadium and the KSCA which owns the stadium have charged a hefty sum as the rent which would be peanuts to the organizers considering the craze for cricket in its new avatar among the cricket fans. The tickets of all denominations have been sold out three days in advance and the online ticketing by Ticket pro also shows a blank.