Rajkot fans make little town special
The residents of Rajkot are passionate about their cricket - so passionate that large crowds congregate around the airport to welcome the teams and gather around the team, writes Russel Arnold.india Updated: Dec 14, 2009 22:46 IST
The residents of Rajkot are passionate about their cricket - so passionate that large crowds congregate around the airport to welcome the teams and gather around the team. The city is therefore an ideal venue to kick-off what promises to be an extremely competitive five-match series.
This time we are not staying with the two teams, which gives us some breathing space, but I have vivid memories of previous visits as a player. We could not move around at all for fear of being mobbed and only ventured out of the hotel to go to training or the match. Instead we stayed in our rooms, some watched television and of course some guys got together for a game of cards.
However, the fans were a determined bunch and some scaled the neighbouring buildings and even perched themselves in treetops in a desperate attempt to see the players (admittedly, they must have been mainly interested in their Indian heroes rather than us Sri Lankans).
You had to shut your curtains tightly to retain some privacy and if you opened the curtains it prompted a loud roar. Before long it developed into a fun game with different players teasing the crowd with their curtains and waking-up the adjacent players trying to grab an afternoon nap.
The journey from Mohali was trouble-free and the players, officials and TV crew all rolled into Rajkot on Sunday afternoon. No practices were scheduled as the day after a match is all about recovery, but on Monday the teams were back out on the park putting the final touches to their preparations.