Go back to
Home » My Kolkata » News » Tens of thousands of cricket fans brave scorching heat and flock to Eden Gardens to see KKR take on RCB

Indian Premier League (IPL)

Tens of thousands of cricket fans brave scorching heat and flock to Eden Gardens to see KKR take on RCB

Roars of 'Kay Kay Aar' and cheers for Kohli

Snehal Sengupta, Debraj Mitra | Published 22.04.24, 05:58 AM
Representational image

Representational image

File picture

The city was hot but the Eden thriller was hotter.

Tens of thousands of cricket fans braved a scorching Sunday and flocked to the Eden Gardens to see the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) take on Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB).


At the end of the match, each one of them had their money’s worth as the home team edged out RCB in a last-ball nail-biter.

Virendra Mohan Sharma, who stays at a housing complex in New Town, was one of the 60,000-plus spectators at Eden on Sunday. The senior executive in a chocolate major is a staunch KKR supporter.

But he was about to leave the stadium before the match ended.

RCB needed 20 runs off the final over with only two wickets in hand. With Micthell Starc — the most expensive player in IPL 2024 — to defend the runs, KKR fans were reasonably confident.

But Karn Sharma stunned the crowd by hitting three towering sixes off Starc before the Aussie pacer held his nerves and got his side home by one run.

“When he (Karn Sharma) hit the third six, I was so distraught that I wanted to leave the stadium. It was my son who held me back. I would have missed the victory had it not been for him. Matches like these make IPL such an enjoyable watch,” Sharma told The Telegraph after the match.

Earlier in the day, the frenzy around Kohli, RCB’s talisman, led to a divided Eden Gardens.

Usually, the Eden crowd roaring “Kay Kay Aar” at full pelt is intimidating for a visiting team. But on Sunday, a sizeable section of the stands was rooting for RCB because of Kohli.

Alokanda Majumder, who hails from Siliguri but stays in Dum Dum to pursue her postgraduation in the city, had called in her gang of friends for Sunday’s match.

“I called in all my close friends from Siliguri as well as the city and the six of us will watch the match and have a post-match analysis at a Park Street restaurant. Although it is quite hot, we plan to scream our lungs out for Kohli,” Majumder said before entering the ground.

Inside the stadium, the decibel hit the roof when Kohli hooked Harshit Rana over square leg for a six. Minutes later, he used his wrists in his trademark style to deposit a Starc delivery into the stands. This time, the roar was louder.

The Maidan greens and the areas around the stadium resembled a sea of colours — RCB’s blue and green and KKR’s purple and gold — as fans headed to the stadium sporting their team jerseys.

A sizeable number of fans also had their faces painted in team colours.

Flags, headbands and jerseys of both teams sold like hot cakes. Many of the sellers set up shop around the stadium as early as 10am.

Rajiv Majumder and his friend Ronita Paul, residents of Dum Dum, headed to the stadium clad in similar headbands that had Kolkata Knight Riders emblazoned on them, all the while waving a flag of their favourite team, around 3pm.

“This is our first match of the season. We had planned for a long time to be here. We can’t wait to see our favourite team and Virat Kohli in action,” said Majumder.

“Kohli is the reason I am here. I literally follow every move of his,” said Paul, who has just cleared her undergraduate programme from a college in the city.

Last updated on 22.04.24, 05:58 AM

More from My Kolkata