Bangalore, Feb 27 (IANS) Just a few thousand tickets, a long wait for the first ball to be bowled, and a possibility of thunderstorm make for a tension-filled atmosphere at Sunday’s India-England Cricket World Cup match here.
The gates to the Chinnaswamy Stadium would open at 10.30 a.m. – full four hours before the day-night clash starts – and under security restrictions fans can only carry with them a plastic water bottle.
The early opening of the gates is to enable police to thoroughly check the spectators before allowing them in.
Given that scores of fans spent Wednesday night outside the stadium not to miss the elusive tickets, it would not be a wonder if a few hundreds of the 7,000-odd who managed to buy them would be at the stadium well before 10.30 a.m.
Bangalore city Police Commissioner Shankar Bidari has also advised fans to come early “as checking each person is time consuming”.
For many more still hoping for a ticket, the long wait began Saturday afternoon as organisers announced to sell a few hundred more Saturday night.
Only the lucky ones with access to internet can hope to bag one of these ‘unsold and returned’ tickets as these will be sold online and not at the stadium counters.
And these lucky ones would be fervently hoping that the portal that sells the tickets would not crash, like it has at least once before in the face of rush to buy the tickets for the World Cup final clash in Mumbai April 2.
As if these tensions are not enough, the Bangalore Met department’s weather forecast for Sunday is “thunderstorm with rain”.
Such a forecast would normally be dismissed as “Ah, the same routine”.
But not this time as similar forecast for Friday came true and it rained in Bangalore Friday evening.
For Saturday the weatherman predicted “partly cloudy with a possibility of thunderstorm/rain in some areas in the evening/night”.
The forecast has come true again, partly, as Saturday evening in Bangalore was cloudy.
Hopefully, it would not rain in the night.
Friday evening’s 21mm rain flooded the Chinnaswamy Stadium but Karnataka State Cricket Association officials said “nothing to worry”.
“We are fully prepared with ‘super sopper machines’ to mop up water from outfield and make it match-worthy soon after rains stops,” the officials have said.
Hopefully the online site would not crash Saturday night, entry to the stadium would be orderly Sunday, the Met forecast would not come true, and England would not spoil India’s party, as captain Andrew Strauss hopes to.