Monday, April 29, 2013

Cricket In Chennai

After travelling around for the rest of Burma, then Kathmandu, on my own, and getting the first culture shock that is India in Kolkata, I was so happy to get to Chennai and the safe comforts of the Waving The Flag group - I was able to relax and enjoy a place, and the cricket, for a week, after all that independent travel!

Catching up with Luke, and a couple of other familiar faces, it was also awesome to be meeting new faces to the group, and then figuring out Chennai together. The pre-tour Night Zero dinner on the rooftop of our hotel was the start of travelling with some awesome people for the week, and some for the rest of the 5 week trip around India.

A tuk tuk ride to the ground was the order of the morning, after the buffet breakfast. A short ride along the beach road, to get to the MA Chidambaram Stadium. Our first encounter of the tenacious Indian cricket security, I actually took a near empty bag into the ground, to avoid having anything confiscated.

After being patted down in the Ladies curtained off tent, I was permitted to enter on my 5 day ticket. The stand was pretty good, and the food sold at the stand on our level was amazing - samosas were sensational!

Day 1 saw the Aussies bat and get off to a good start, then a few top order stumbles, before Michael Clarke got to the crease. Then we witnessed our captain bat like we know, and trust, that he can.

All class, he reached his century before the end of the day, and raised his bat to the dressing room, and then to us, the very visable, colourful group of Australian supporters in the ground.

That night was one of delight, after such a great day, I got back and had a swim in the pool at the end of the day, to wash away the heat, and grit, before some beers at the bar, and a group of us finding a spot down the road for dinner.

The next day was equally a great day of cricket, with the battle on field going our way. The mind games was a highlight, with the crowd's attention being on Sachin Tendulkar for much of the day - and then Clarkie swinging their cheers towards himself by waving to them, and then dancing for them! He and Warner ended up dancing to requests from the texted in messages on the scoreboard, and totally won the day, and the hearts of the home crowd!

Looking back, these were the best days of the tour for the Aussies!

Watching cricket in India has been one of those things in travel and as a cricket fan I have always wanted to do, to take in the crowd madness we usually watch on tv from back home. But being there to hear and see it was something else!

The noise as Sachin got near the ball, turned to face the crowd, was ear piercing. But then the electricity generated by the fans when he came out to bat was goose-bump tingling! Like nothing I have ever experienced! Wow!

Here in Chennai, we also first encountered India's Number 1 Fan, or the lad covered in house paint. He was pretty impressive, with his conch shell, massive Indian flag, and his timing in getting the crowd revved up. All part of the Indian cricket experience!

Day 3 saw the Indian batsmen pile on the runs, without mercy, and swing the game back into their hands. A long, hot day for us, and all too often we got a whiff of the sewage creek laying directly behind the stand, and wondered if the smell was that or the Aussie's inability to contain the runs! (Ohh, pun unintended! Ha!)

The Aussies capitulated on Day 4, with a whimper, ending the day at 9 for 232. The Indians won the match with authority, before Lunch on Day 5.


  1. Super tuk-tuk shot that!!

    1. Thanks! Was tricky, taking from another tuk tuk behind!


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