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Cradle of cricket glued to TV

Inside Shivaji Park Gymkhana, all eyes were fixed on the large LCD screens. There was a sense of pride among the members as the players who had started playing at Shivaji Park, such as Sachin Tendulkar, walked on to the field at Mohali to take on Pakistan in the World Cup semi-final on Wednesday.

mumbai Updated: Mar 31, 2011 01:36 IST
Neha Ghatpande

Inside Shivaji Park Gymkhana, all eyes were fixed on the large LCD screens. There was a sense of pride among the members as the players who had started playing at Shivaji Park, such as Sachin Tendulkar, walked on to the field at Mohali to take on Pakistan in the World Cup semi-final on Wednesday.

The Maharashtra Navanirman Sena (MNS) tried to cash in by putting up a big screen outside Shivaji Park. A large crowd gathered as MNS workers played patriotic songs and waved the Tricolour.

The emotion was visible on the faces of the onlookers — would the boys in blue win or lose? — as they cheered each Indian run and the fall of each Pakistani wicket.

“We will win, our boys are really capable,” said Vinod Chaubal, a member of Shivaji Park Gymkhana who has been watching most World Cup matches with fellow members, as he took in the Indian innings. “I feel privileged to be sitting in this gymkhana, which has such a great cricketing history,” added Chaubal.

The 102-year-old club, which has given several cricketers to the Indian team over the decades, was a little disappointed to see Sachin Tendulkar not getting his 100th international century. “All the three halls that had large screens were packed as we all awaited the Tendulkar century. But I guess we’ll have to wait longer,” said Jaganathrao Hegde, president of the gymkhana.