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A bitter spell amidst the glitter

Right from the player auction in February to the glittering opening function in Bangalore on Friday, the IPL has been a very well managed event, reports Amol Karhadkar.
Hindustan Times | By Amol Karhadkar, Mumbai
UPDATED ON APR 21, 2008 02:31 AM IST

Right from the player auction in February to the glittering opening function in Bangalore on Friday, the IPL has been a very well managed event. However, the event's reputation was dented during Mumbai's opening match against Bangalore on Sunday.

It all started with the crew of an event management team occupying seats in the media centre for the purpose of public announcements.

It turned out that neither the Mumbai Cricket Association officials nor representatives of the public relations firm, appointed by the IPL, were aware of the invasion before it was brought to their notice.

After a heated discussion, it was decided to let them go ahead with the public announcements from the media box.

But the moment an announcement was made after the start, the public announcer was shown the door.

Meanwhile, Mumbai team owners Reliance India Limited decided to have a spell of fireworks for more than five minutes just before their openers walked out to bat.

But the falling debris prevented the start of play as remnants lay strewn on the outfield, forcing the volunteers and the ball boys to do a clean-up job.

Even some of the Bangalore players and umpire Steve Davis joined in clearing the debris.

The start of the match was delayed by eight minutes.

Bollywood's impact

Hrithik Roshan, the face of the Mumbai IPL team, was not there, but Bollywood still made its presence felt on Sunday.

Leading actors Anil Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor and Saif Ali Khan ran a lap minutes before the start of the match.

While Anil, the senior most, sprinting like a teenager, asked the crowd to join him in cheering the local team, Kareena preferred to jog, waving to the packed Wankhede Stadium. Saif preferred to walk along with his son.

However, cricket remained the focus, as the crowd chanted more for "aamcha" Sachin Tendulkar than any of the three big stars. While a bemused Sangeeta Bijlani looked on, her husband Mohammad Azharuddin wore a pleased look following the crowd's chanting.

Thornley has 15 stitches

Dominic Thornley was hit by a Zaheer Khan short ball even before the Australian had opened his account in his IPL debut.

And the ball, which smashed into Thornley'y right eye-brow, forced the Mumbai team management to rush him to Saifee Hospital.

And the injury was so bad that Dr Adil Chawla, who treated Thornley, had to put 15 stitches. The only good news for Thornley and his team was that he did not require to be hospitalised and joined the t4eam before the end of the match.

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