Nandita Pal

Classics

2  

Nandita Pal

Classics

A Day In Eden Gardens Stadium

A Day In Eden Gardens Stadium

3 mins
90


"It Takes One Day – ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023" is the punch line, stirring up different emotions like Navaras among fans. Eden Gardens, a stadium with a 68,000 seating capacity, is almost full for the semifinal match between South Africa and Australia on 16th November 2023. My husband and I reached the parking ground of the Stadium on Red Road while South Africa was already batting, and two wickets were down. The arrangement of car/bike parking on both sides of Red Road in the big grounds is excellent, with no parking fee and convenience. We started walking towards the Stadium, where India had already won the Semi-Final against New Zealand and reached the Final.


The atmosphere was electric, with jerseys, flags, and various cricket paraphernalia being sold. The excitement among cricket fans worldwide was palpable. As we walked, we noticed people selling tickets for the day's matches. The time was a few minutes past 2 PM, and the Kolkata sky was overcast, with pleasant weather at 26-27 degrees Celsius. There was a chance of a little rain, but that didn't dampen the spirits. We needed to sit in the gallery for a long time, and although carrying food or water wasn't allowed, I managed to bring a string bag after a security check.


Eden Gardens Stadium, built-in 1864, is the oldest and second-largest in India, situated in the heart of Kolkata at BBD Bag. It holds historical significance, named after the adjacent 'Eden Garden' given by Rani Rashmoni. As we entered through Gate 4, I felt the historical moment, especially as it was my first time in the stadium.


The match was intense, with South Africa struggling. The crowd was engaged, and the big screens displayed various activities in the gallery. Fun moments during rain delays, dance competitions, and cheering added to the vibrant atmosphere. We heard the chant 'dada' 'dada,' realizing Saurav Ganguly was present, waving to the spectators in the upper tier.


South Africa's David Miller played a crucial role in stabilizing their innings. Despite the rain interruptions, the entertainment in the gallery continued. The Australian players' sportsmanship, shaking hands with Miller after his century, showcased cricket as a gentleman's sport. South Africa eventually scored 212 runs in the last over of their innings.


During the innings break, players warmed up on the ground, and past cricket legends like Shawn Pollock and Imran Tahir gave interviews. Australia, aggressive from the start, faced tough South African bowling but ultimately secured victory with Michael Starc and Captain Pat Cummins at the helm.


The match was a rollercoaster of emotions, with dancing, music, and energy in the gallery. Travis Head won the Man of the Match award. Australia will now face India in the final, a rematch of the 2003 World Cup final, at Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.


As we drove back, I reflected on a memorable evening, a refreshing experience filled with positive vibes and tremendous energy. The final match promises to be another thrilling encounter between two cricket giants.


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