India vs Sri Lanka: Cricket’s paradise gets its mojo back
The manner in which Sri Lanka’s innings crumbled had cast serious doubts over the laser show that was scheduled to happen during the innings break of the second ODI at Eden Gardens on Thursday.
By the time the visitors were seven wickets down, the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) decided to defer the show to the end of the game.
The game obviously didn’t last the distance, but the laser show did go ahead as the spectators had their share of entertainment even after India’s four-wicket victory before a 50,000-plus turnout. The dazzling show of lights and music ahead of the post-match presentation certainly complemented India’s victory and series win.
Keeping aside the laser show and the tribute to Pele on the giant screen, one could feel the buzz in the stands even when the game had just begun with quite a few of the seats yet to be filled up. In fact, that’s what amphitheatre Eden is all about: excitement, energy, enthusiasm and absolute fun all along.
These four elements were missing to an extent at the iconic venue till early last year when India hosted the West Indies for three T20Is 11 months ago. A few Covid-19 protocols still had to be maintained at that time before rules were further relaxed by the time Eden staged Qualifier I and Eliminator of IPL 2022.
Those two matches had also witnessed packed houses, but Thursday’s clash was the first time in the post-pandemic era that Eden staged international cricket with scenes similar to how it used to be in the good old days.
The cheers grew louder with every Sri Lankan wicket that fell and almost every run India scored. A couple of fans from Sri Lanka also found some room to wave their national flag amid the sea of Indian supporters.
P. Kalum and Gayan Senanayake were having a really hard time back home when Sri Lanka went through one of its worst economic crises a few months ago. The duo were obviously disappointed with how their team performed, but the overall atmosphere was something they enjoyed to the core.
The same goes for the United States-based Evan Bordwick and the rest of his group that’s here on an assignment but stayed back only to watch the game. That, despite not having enough idea of cricket.
“It’s just like our baseball games back home,” Bordwick, sporting India’s practice jersey with ‘Hardik’ inscribed at the back, said.
Truly, such is the charm of Eden.