Fans get their money?s worth

Published on Sep 20, 2004 11:41 AM IST

The noise is incessant, every wicket and run is cheered and flags are out in full force, writes Kadambari Murali.

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PTI | ByKadambari Murali, Birmingham

It's only 8am but the roads to the Edgbaston cricket ground are overflowing with people. It may be a Sunday (and those living in this part of the world take their day of rest literally) but it's also Super Sunday. India are due to meet Pakistan in this sellout clash of the subcontinental rivals and everyone making use of the opportunity.

Even the local whites. While there are few non-brown faces among those who are happily making their way to the ground, every now and then, you'll find a small roadside stall selling green and blue T-shirts and caps, and several Pakistani and Indian pennants flapping side by side in the breeze.

It's a different atmosphere and one difficult to describe. While Indians and Pakistanis are not exactly roaming arm-in-arm, there's no visible discord under the clear blue sky of the morning.

There's a nip in the air but it's a beautiful day for cricket and everyone's hoping the gods will continue to be indulgent. As you enter the stadium, there's more of the same excitement in the air --- something that's been sorely missing through this tournament. Then you spot Honey Purewal, a 25-year-old lorry driver. He's wearing a T-shirt that is half blue and half green. "I want to make my statement," he says. "I have lots of Pakistani friends and in fact, I bought this T-shirt from a Pakistani shop in the Edgbaston area."

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