The crowd profile of IPL matches at Eden is getting richer in variety. To get a feel of the show for the first time, three university students from Seoul left their work at an NGO outside the eastern fringes of the city, bought tickets online and used the internet also to learn about cricket before coming to the ground.
They are in the third week of their six-month stay here. Their work is dissuading parents in a particular rural pocket from getting their under-age daughters married off because of poverty by providing them education and clothes. The sound of crackers after India's World Cup triumph has given them an idea of what cricket means here and they turned up for the KKR-RR match to add to that experience.
"Basic rules..Well, not even basic rules," confessed Taewook, the only male member of the group, when asked whether they knew cricket. Back home, they knew that the game exists, had heard of Shah Rukh Khan and My Name is Khan and that the film was released there with Korean subtitles, but had no idea of what IPL is. "It's about big people and big players," Taewook summed up his recent research.
Jin Hyang said they were used to being part of big crowds in Seoul where football and baseball attract thousands. "It's about 50,000 when the national football team plays. The attendance is about 10,000 to 15,000 when other matches take place," she said, taken aback when told that close to 100,000 pack the stands at Yuba Bharati Krirangan when Mohun Bagan clash with East Bengal.