Ahmedabad, March 24 (IANS) A bat full of wishes greeted the Indian team as their bus pulled into the Sardar Patel Stadium for the World Cup quarterfinal against defending champions Australia here Thursday.
The sponsors had arranged for a huge 15-foot-long bat, inside the stadium for fans to scribble their messages for the Indian team. As the gates were opened, fans rushed to pen their messages.
“Come on Team India”, “Revenge for 2003 final” and “Sachin, wish u all the best” were some of the early messages.
Visibly delighted Indian players took out their cameras to photograph the bat from inside the bus.
Cricket fans staged a “Dandi March” from the venerated Sabarmati Ahsram and the journey was not to Dandi, but to the Sardar Patel Stadium in Motera.
Dressed like Mahtama Gandhi, a group of 20 fans, made the five-km walk under the burning sun, singing Gandhi’s favourite hymns to cheer the national team.
“We thought this could inspire the national team so that they can take revenge for the 2003 loss in the final to Australia. It was tough walking down five kilometers, but nothing compared to the pain of the boys on the field,” said Amit Shah, one of the group members.
Freshly laid roads
Last-minute preparations are a routine at every cricket centre and it was no different here at the Motera stadium.
It took a few hours Wednesday night for the Gujarat Cricket Association (GCA) to repair the roads inside the stadium complex. The freshly tarred roads were irritating for the fans, but no one was seriously bothered.