Sunday’s final was also more than cricket for many. With the teams owned by Bollywood actors, many fans came to see their heartthrobs.
Hours before the Sunday’s final of the 7th edition of Indian Premier League (IPL) between Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Kings XI Punjab commenced, roads around the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium here were crowded with cricket fans.
Despite the home team Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) not playing, final match of IPL 2014 attracted thousands of cricket buffs from not only Bangalore, but also from outside. As early as 3 p.m., fans started coming to the stadium and by 6 p.m. the numbers swelled even though the match started at 8 p.m. Along with the fans also came the vendors selling jerseys, caps and whistles among other paraphernalia. A few young boys also had brought colours to paint faces of fans who wanted to display their affinity. Also present were those selling tickets in black. The going rate of a regular Rs. 1,500 ticket was Rs. 2,500.
Average cost of T shirts and coloured wigs were around Rs. 150 while a whistle cost around Rs. 50. Young Amit was offering to paint both cheeks with the team’s insignia for Rs. 50 or even less.
Sunday’s final was also more than cricket for many. With the teams owned by Bollywood actors, many fans were there to cheer for their heartthrobs. “RCB is not playing, I am supporting Knight Riders. I also like Shah Rukh Khan (KKR owner) as an actor,” said Shilpa G.
Some Bengalis who have made Bangalore their home found enough reason to support KKR in the finals since RCB was not playing. Shoumik Sarkar, a native of Kolkata working here in an IT company, was at the stadium along with his friends. “A number of Bengalis whom I know are also in stadium supporting KKR,” he added.
However, many others like S. Kiran, also an IT professional, watched the match for fun. “It’s electrifying to be in a stadium with thousands of others to watch a match. I are not bothered who will win, but will enjoy the game,” he added.
Police diverted traffic and closed a part of Queen’s Road. As many as 1,000 police personnel were deployed around the stadium.