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Autographs galore as fans get up, close and personal

cricket Updated: Jul 15, 2010 00:17 IST
Amol Karhadkar
Amol Karhadkar
Hindustan Times
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Whenever popular cricketers play at a venue like the Colts Cricket Club, where there isn't any gallery for the spectators to sit, the fans enjoy it the most. Not only can they watch their favourite cricketers from a close distance, they can easily get their autographs and click pictures with some of them.

So, to watch 100-odd spectators sitting just outside the fence all around wasn't a surprise on the first two days of India's warm-up tie against Sri Lanka President's XI.

What was startling was the ease with which school kids were running in when the play was on to get their star player's autographs. While Yuvraj Singh obliged a kid who came in running more than 20 yards in the middle of an over during the first day's play, Dilhara Fernando did the same on Tuesday when the Lankan speedster was fielding at the other end of the ground.

Be reserve, have fun

India have arrived in Sri Lanka with a squad of 16 for the Test series. Add to it the two additional net bowlers and the eight-member support staff, and you have more people in the dressing room than on the field.

But the reserves are making the most of the time. Half an hour after India resumed their grind against Sri Lanka President's XI on Tuesday, Suresh Raina and Murali Vijay left for a practice session at the Nondescripts Cricket Club. Accompanying them were net bowlers Jaidev Unadkat and Umesh Yadav and bowling coach Eric Simons.

Wriddhiman Saha and Munaf Patel fulfilled the role of helping out the men in the middle. Later in the afternoon, after the Big Three in India's batting line-up - Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman were dismissed early - they also left for NCC where Munaf and Harbhajan had their first spell of the tour.