The Telegraph
Monday , June 19 , 2017

Sunday night fever

- Cricket loyalty 
tale of three cities

An India-Pakistan 50-over final face-off, especially one coming after more than four decades, is bound to be the 
Big Momma of All Contests — high on enthusiasm, higher on anticipation and highest on patriotism. 

As the Indian diaspora at The Oval, London, waved the Tricolour and chanted Bharat Mata ki Jai, cricket buffs 
in Jharkhand deserted roads and huddled in front of televisions at homes, hotels or clubs and giant screens at cinemas or stadiums to lap up match moments. Irrespective of whether defending champion India kept the trophy, fan frenzy in Ranchi, Jamshedpur and Dhanbad was the winner. The Telegraph feels the thumping pulse 


The JSCA International Stadium Complex in Dhurwa, which has hosted ODIs and a Test but never an India-Pakistan tie so far, installed a giant screen to telecast the Champions Trophy final. The crowd count was dismal though, with only one family of four being spotted till late in the evening. “When India won the toss, they should have batted first. It was a bad decision that skipper Virat Kohli took,” said Devang Parth, a Class XII student of DAV Public School who was present at the 
Dhurwa stadium. The Ranchi administration deployed cops in front of MS Dhoni’s house in Harmu as a precautionary measure


A big LED screen at Machhli Ghar in Ranchi had turned the amusement hub into a mini-Oval. Proprietor Pratul Shahdeo put the headcount of fans at over 200 and said more were expected to throng the cafeteria — selling Ball Pakora and Sixer Chow Mein — by evening. “We have arranged for a cheerleading contest for every big India knock. People will perform a jig on the stage and win prizes,” said Shahdeo


A group of six students from NIT-Jamshedpur watch the explosive Pakistani knock at 60ml, the sports bar at hotel Yashwee International in Sakchi, Jamshedpur. Ayush Pailuly, an MTech student, said this would be the most memorable final in years. “Victory or defeat, the real fun lies in watching an India-Pakistan match with friends over a few drinks,” he said. “Pakistan is scoring well, raining sixes and fours and setting the stage for a mammoth target. The league matches were so one-sided. 

It is real contest when the chasing target crosses the 300 mark,” added Nishant Singh Kaalkhanday, another MTech student of NIT


Had it been any other Sunday, the Sinhas of Dhanbad would be digging into rice and mutton curry. But, June 18 afternoon had had to be different. Lunch was simple dal-chawal with nenua ki sabji and there wasn’t a murmur of complaint. For, Rajan Sinha, a senior auditor at the accountant-general’s office, is a diehard cricket bhakt, having represented the Vinoba Bhave University team in 1994-96 and currently a member of the district outfit. Wife Nitu and school-going sons Aryan and Ayush share his passion. No wonder the family remained glued to the television from 3pm. “My husband and sons won’t miss an India-Pakistan match for the world. It is good because we spend a day together after a week of hectic work and school,” said Nitu, a homemaker 


Multiplex Eylex in Hinoo, Ranchi, was 50 per cent full as India and Pakistan clashed in the ICC Champions Trophy 
final. Shreyashi Kundu (28) hoped for a trophy moment, but admitted that the Indian bowling was weak. “Fingers 
crossed,” she said as she watched the rivals pile on runs. Rabi Kumar (26), another spectator, conceded that Team 
Pakistan was in better form, but hoped India’s chase would be unforgettable


Projecting cricket matches on a giant screen has been a tradition at Vivekananda Milan Sangha, a club in Parsudih, Jamshedpur. The high-octane India-Pakistan Sunday was no exception. Members of the club pooled in Rs 8,000 for the hottest entertainment of all times. 

“We have 600 registered members. Everybody pitched in and we hired a projector and a screen like always,” said Rajesh Roy, a businessman and club member. The footfall crossed 300 by 7pm, as India prepared to bat.

Compiled by Kumud Jenamani, Antara Bose & Praduman Choubey 
Pictures by Prashant Mitra, Animesh Sengupta, Bhola Prasad & Gautam Dey

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