Reflections on the experience of watching the first international match after the journey from a cricket lover to a reporter.
the first match of India’s T20 International series against West Indies was played at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in Hyderabad, where Virat Kohli’s unbeaten knock of 94 runs helped India achieve the target of 208 runs with eight balls to spare. Had taken. That match was also special because King Kohli copied Kesrick Williams’ ‘Notebook’ celebration after every big shot in that match.
After that, due to the Corona epidemic for almost three years, many cities including Hyderabad were deprived of hosting international cricket. Not only this, since 2019, even an IPL match has not been played in this city. The city of cricket and cinema lovers (oh yes brother, biryani too) did not like to stay away from their favorite players and so when the Board of Control for Cricket in India decided to organize the final match of the India-Australia series in Hyderabad, the people of There was a race to buy tickets in the middle.
However, all did not go well and thousands of fans who reached the Gymkhana Ground with gaiety had to face the baton of the police, not tickets, which we will talk about again sometime.
The reporter left Bangalore for his second home in Hyderabad where he had spent eight years of his life. Foods like Irani Chai, Osmania Biscuits, Dum Biryani, Double Ka Meetha had won hearts and was now returning to this city to cover the first international match.
There was a long line of spectators in the train going to the stadium metro station since 3.30 pm. If I could not find a place to sit in the train, I got an opportunity to hear the words of selected fans. While a boy was reminiscing about Kohli’s notebooks, someone was telling how Sunrisers Hyderabad had reduced the ticket prices for the first match of IPL 2019 so that more and more people could come to the stadium to enjoy the match (among those One of them was me too who had enjoyed that match with my family by buying tickets at low prices).
Excited cricket lovers started entering the ground from 4 o’clock in the evening. Regardless of the scorching sun, heat, sweat, he kept sitting at his place and why not? After all, the people of this city love their food and their cricket.
In the metro train, where there was irritability for not getting a place to sit, after reaching near the stadium, it was understood that there is no place to even breathe here. How did he have to reach the stadium through the middle of the people. Seeing the BCCI media identity card hanging around the neck, most of the people standing in the line thought me to be a BCCI official. Then in a low voice he would say to his friend, “Hey woh dekh mama, une BCCI ka lagra dekh. Apne ku mita kya woh?”
As the day progressed and evening started, the stadium was packed with spectators. 35,000 people were eagerly waiting for their diamonds. Whenever a player or team member stepped down from the pavilion, he was greeted with applause and noise. When Rahul Dravid and then Kohli finally came on the field, every spectator at the Uppal Stadium was a burst of energy and this was reflected in the noise they made till the last ball of the match.
I reached the media box after following all the security protocols. After talking to other journalists, I went outside the media box trying to absorb this atmosphere.
Meanwhile, when I reached their stand to meet my friends, I saw that this year’s youngest player of Indian T20 cricket Dinesh Karthik’s wife and Indian squash champion Dipika Pallikal Karthik has come to the ground to watch the match. The player who had seen on TV winning countless medals for India was sitting in front. For a moment it felt like a dream.
However, when the toss took place and the match started, everything turned into reality. Then be it Cameron Greene’s incredible half-century, Bapu Axar Patel’s spin, Tim David’s skyscraper sixes, audience noise or Tollywood songs being played on the field. While watching the match sitting among the journalists, the cricket lover in me was jumping and clapping on every shot, every wicket.
While enjoying the delicious food during the innings break, I realized that just now after 20 overs, the match will be over. I didn’t want to miss a single moment. I immediately ran to my seat and enjoyed the second innings. I was passing the news moment by moment to my fellow commentators and thanking God for this day.
Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav entertained the people with a century partnership. That class was visible in Kohli’s cover drives, Suryakumar playing with the bowlers as usual, for a time I started feeling bad for the Australian bowlers. However, when the match reached its final stage, everyone’s heart beat faster. Then when Hardik Pandya sent the ball between the wicketkeeper and short third for a boundary and ensured India’s victory, people started dancing, dancing. His happiness knew no bounds. The fruit of three years of waiting came to him in the form of this exciting match.
After the match, it was time for my first press conference experience. First came Australia’s head coach Andrew McDonald. Asked him the question of the death bowling problem, which he answered clearly. Hitman Rohit then came, at first he felt hesitant for a moment, after that asked him a question on Harshal Patel’s bowling. As he looked at me and answered me with my eyes, I felt for a moment that I might not be doing this for the first time, but for the 100th time.
When I went to the media box to pick up my laptop after the press conference, I saw the lights on the ground going off. Then I realized that it was just what it was. My first international match as a reporter is over. Now it won’t happen again. However, then a voice came out of my heart that said – what happened if the match ended on the ground, it will be etched in my heart and mind forever and like Shahrukh Khan’s famous dialogue in the movie Chak De India – Yeh Chaar Ghante Khuda Bhi Can’t take it away from me