Watching IPL 3.0 finals between Mumbai Indians(MI) and Chennai Super Kings(CSK) at DY Patil Stadium, Navi Mumbai was an experience to cherish. The plan to watch a match in the one of the best cricket-stadium in the world was there for a long time since I was looking forward to make the most of my stay at Navi Mumbai. The booking for the tickets turned out to be sort of a circus. As it was expected that the tickets for finals would be sold out like hot cakes, from the time tournament started I used to visit the official ticketing site ticketgenie.in regularly.
The status of bookings for Semi-finals and Finals remained as “Coming Soon” for several days. Then one fine day, I sent a direct message thru twitter to CEO of IPL Sundar Raman and following was the immediate reply.
After the response, I waited desperately for April 1st to come. But on the very first day of April the status remained unchanged. On April 2nd and 3rd I was on a trip to Ajanta-Ellora, so had asked my flatmate Sorabh to keep visiting the site to check whether the bookings have opened or not. The status remained same for two days. When I came back on April 4th(Sunday) morning had a look at the site, booking status for Semi-Finals were already open and for Finals the status was still coming soon. On the same day, in afternoon after having lunch, I got some sort of thought in mind (may be my sub-conscious) why not check the site again. The ticket bookings for Finals had finally “OPEN” and the sub-conscious turned out to be true. Then when I was about to book tickets for myself and Sorabh only, I realized max number tickets per transaction is six. I decided to go for the max limit keeping in mind the tickets for IPL finals will always be in demand and there will be buyers for spare tickets. The other four who joined us were our PGPM mates Vivek, Kedar, Puneet and On Ali.
On the day of grand finale we thought of reaching the venue an hour before. In order to avoid parking hassles we went to the stadium by autos instead of Puneet’s car. On account of recent low intensity blasts in Bangalore the security at the stadium was beefed up and the Mumbai Police had come up with a crappy rule i.e. not allowing mobiles phone inside the stadium, a device which is a basic necessity these days. After standing in a long queue we managed to get into the stadium with split groups, yeah we missed our mobiles to sync up :). Thankfully we had distributed tickets(with seat numbers) among ourselves as it was only way for sync up.
We were in the stadium at 6.30 pm well before the scheduled start time of closing ceremony i.e. 7.00 pm. The stands of the stadium was brimming with people wearing blue coloured Mumbai Indian’s jersey expressing loyal support to the home team. We got acclimatised to the environment and did some time-pass by witnessing the operation of spider-cam. It was amusing to see the way it was operated with four suspended ropes, pulleys and in-turn giving a different perspective while watching cricket on the screen. The actual closing ceremony started at 7.15 pm with a bang as A.R.Rehman’s sang “Baar Baar Haan, Bolo Yaar Haan”, a song from the movie Lagaan. After the first song there were lacklustre performances from Bipasha Basu and Shahid Kapoor which failed to make an impact. According to a media report the dance performance by two actors were impromptu, may be it was the major cause for lacklustreness. There were laser shows as fillers in between the performances. Finally, the “Jai Ho” song from Rehman in the end raised energy level of the crowd and the performance was perfectly complemented with synchronised fireworks.
After the ceremony it was time for the actual match. After winning the toss Chennai elected themselves to bat and posted a competitive target of 169. The very first six of Murali Vijay came to our stands a little far away from us. The Mumbai’s chase was pretty slow and boring. They kept too much for Pollard to score, who did his best to strike the target and kept the crowd entertained. CSK emerged as victors, majorly on account of shrewd captaincy by Dhoni, who comprehensively demonstrated his thinking-on-the-feet abilities.
Coming to loyalties among us. Marwah and Vivek were supporting CSK. Kedar, Puneet and On Ali were for Mumbai Indians. I remained neutral from start till the end and managed to enjoy every moment of the match.
After the match we made sure to witness the complete presentation ceremony. The ninety percent of the crowd had gone back home disappointed over Mumbai’s loss. It gave us a chance to move to stands which were closer to the stage and get a better view of the presentation ceremony. The best part was of ending of the presentation ceremony, when as soon as the trophy was handed over to the winning captain there was a burst of silver foils over the stage and along with fireworks in the sky. A perfect salute to the winning team !
- The pro-activeness for booking tickets paid-off, as the affordable tickets for finals were sold-out within 12 hours after bookings were open.
- Not allowing mobile phones was a very stupid security rule. We the group of six had a very tough time inside the stadium and had to use age old strategy to be together.
- Apart from my mobile, I missed my DSLR a lot. Could have captured several breath taking moments.
- Entertainment program should be more creative and energetic. Other than A.R.Rehman’s other performances were not worth mentioning.
- The performance stage should be on centre of the stadium. And an artist’s performance attention should not be limited to VVVIP and pavilion section.
- Spider-cam is an amazing device. Kudos to organizers for introducing for first-time in IPL(also first time in cricket)
- An appeal to the organizer that the finals should be on Saturdays. Since the presentation ceremony finishes as late as 1.30 am and spectators can enjoy their extended stay in stadium without worrying about Monday morning blues.