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Twenty20 Madness

August 17, 2009

It’s not a secret that Sri Lankans’ are Crazy over Cricket, but this Twenty20 format is a phenomenon. Don’t believe me, I dare you to watch a match. Live in person I tell ya. It’s not for the faint hearted, fragile boned and the fairer sex (not that the fairer sex also comprise of faint hearts and fragile bones).

So the brotherhood (as I have to refrain from discrimination against races in this new Sri Lanka, if not it would be the thambi brotherhood) which I too am in the process of being recognized as an associate member (heck I hang out in the mosque while they pray) not learning their lesson from the last T20 match, want to try their luck this time too.

In brief the last time was a spur of the moment decision to check out the T20 against India half an hour before the match. Rush to the grounds, only to be stuck for an hour outside to get into the ground. Realized that all tickets were sold out, we (myself, Z & A) decide to stick around anyhow, get squished in the lines of millions of Malligawattians attempting to brake into the ground, wait till a cop goes crazy, create a stampede and the perfect diversion! I find my self climbing a 12ft fence in office attire while the cop is looking the other way. Z & A find a broken gate to creep inside. Few more squishes and we find our selves in the 50 Rupee stand drenched in sweat (probably others sweat too..) with about 7 or 8 overs to go of the 1st Innings.

Lessons learnt after First Experience :
1. Buy tickets. Higher the better.
2. Get there early.

With these in mind and a few more jolly rogers from the brotherhood, we buy tickets early. Mind you not the usual cheapo 50 rupee tickets (which were doubled along with all the other ticket prices) but 1000 buck Grand Stand tickets. We also left a good 2 hours prior to the scheduled start. Expecting to find a decent spot to park (unlike the last time) walk in like distinguished civilized folk who purchased a Grand Stand ticket and sit and watch the match.

Sadly Town-hall, Maradana and every junction and road leading to the ground is chock-a-block. Trust a bunch of Malligawatte dudes to guide our car into a dingy winding alley in the hope of parking, only to realize we’ve just crossed the boundary to the notorious TEAM territory. It’s like driving your car to the Car thief’s house parking it and hoping he’d look after it, till you get back.

So with that hurdle completed, we figure the rest ought to be a breeze as we had tickets (pretty darn good ones at that) unlike the last time. Nope. It seems that tickets don’t matter for a moment. Whether you have it or not you have to walk around the ground through like a million people with and without tickets trying to get in to the lesser stands, pushing and pulling till pissing off cop(s) till..

  • said cop goes crazy with his whip.. *whisssh whoosh.. chataas.. pataas*
  • everyone panics runs all away. also known as a stampede
  • I get pushed against a railing along with another hundred odd people
  • said railing breaks under me, I fall, atleast 5 people on me
  • I see my life along with 2 ice cream containers filled with lasagna and my glasses flash before me
  • manage to grab hold of glasses before somebody steps on them
  • lasagna is still not in arms reach try to shrug people off me
  • past experiences of being buried under a scrum helps.. me thinks
  • start to feel body parts again.. realize said people are rolling off me
  • scramble to feet, looking for the 2 ice cream containers of lasagna
  • curses Z for bring the darn lasagna in the first place.. thank god he can’t hear me
  • located. check with HQ. mission is still on track. proceed to rendezvous point.
  • shaken but not stirred.

Finally waded through 3 more such queues/stampedes and reached the packed stadium. That too we managed to sneak into the A Upper although we were supposed to be seated in the “lower”. Found an empty isle (empty as in less populated compared to the other isles) and well.. started cheering madly, got our selves high, like every typical supporter at a match. The fact that there was a Papare right behind us just added to the filthy bailas and the “ara okata aroh“.

Lessons learnt after Second Experience :

1. None of the lessons learnt in the first experience really matter.

All in all a well worthy experience that we’d probably go through it all over again. Why? Like the Sri Lankan Cricket Team we never seem to learn our lessons either. 🙂

Following are some pics from our first time. Pretty much nothing would have changed..  if I had the camera this time, I would have taken the same pics. 🙂

The mounted cop sitting high on his horsey doesn't want us to go see if we can find tickets. 😦

A cross-section of the crowds being turned down.

The fence I scaled to get in free.. Local Spiderman.

The fence I scaled to get in free.. Local Spiderman.

Sri Lankan flag inverse.

Sri Lankan flag inverse.

Over capacity crowd.

Over capacity crowd.

My shoes at the end of all this. Yes, SPidy uses office shoes to scale walls.

My shoes at the end of all this. Yes, Spidy uses office shoes to scale walls.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. August 19, 2009 9:43 am

    love the flag pic.

  2. Chavie permalink
    August 19, 2009 1:18 pm

    what kinda gob would leave the comments off?! 😛 😀

  3. August 19, 2009 8:48 pm

    @Dee : Thankoo

    @Chavie : I dunno. Can you think of one? 🙂

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