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Sporting spirit sky-high

- League fan prints SRK, Vijay Mallya & Subroto Roy kites

Shah Rukh Khan’s dizzy cartwheels or Chris Gayle’s flying sixes?

Ranchi’s JSCA international stadium complex at Dhurwa doesn’t know what to expect in its maiden IPL 6 outing on May 12 and 15. But one thing is for sure. Though Dhoni isn’t playing here with Chennai SuperKings, his home turf will soar high on the IPL spirit, thanks to colourful kites.

Yes, kites. Because, ever since IPL started in 2008, Ranchi has seen it all — witty placards and flags, face paint and team tattoos, cheerleaders, bhangra, Mexican waves, Gangnam moves. On television, where else?

But now that the city is set to host its own two IPL matches, Md Talib, owner of Talib Patang House in Kantatoli Chowk, has hit upon an innovative idea.

He’s printed some 10,000 kites embossed with the faces of three best-known team owners — Shah Rukh Khan of Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), Vijay Mallya of Royal Challengers Bangalore and Subroto Roy of Pune Warriors.

The three teams will play in Ranchi.

Talib, who’s printed feel-good messages such as “welcome”, “johar” and “khushamdeed” with the faces of SRK, Roy and Mallya on the plastic kites in red, blue and green, has kept the price a trifle — Rs 2 per piece.

Fans can get them at Birsa Munda Airport and Ranchi station on May 10. Kites will also be available near JSCA stadium and in cradles such as St Thomas and DAV group of schools.

“This is really special occasion. We do not wish to lose chance to greet team owners and players by encouraging cricket fans to fly kites. We want to show the world how Mahi’s city welcomes IPL,” Md Talib said.

The diehard cricket buff added it was more than mere business for him. “On May 12 and 15 when matches will be played at the JSCA stadium, we will distribute kites among fans free of cost,” he grinned.

What do kites and cricket have in common? “Both are extraordinary mood lifters,” Md Talib said. “Sixes fly, wickets are flung in the air, spirits soar when one’s team wins,” he added.

A tad shyly, Talib added he had dispatched kites to Shah Rukh Khan, Vijay Mallya and Subroto Roy two days ago. “SRK personally sent me a message appreciating my efforts, saying I’ve made very good kites,” Talib said.

When defending champions KKR — virtually out of the contention for the four-team play-offs this season — lands on the Ranchi pitch, Talib for one will be clutching his cellphone and praying for SRK’s boys.

Will you fly an IPL kite to celebrate its maiden capital innings?


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