CSK’s Homecoming

“Manja sattai potta erikraanga sir”


I heard these lines from fellow fans who were patiently waiting for the MRTS train to Chepauk, to relive something that had been mercilessly denied for two years. Fans were smearing themselves with paint outside the stadium. The tension was gripping until I crossed few of the thousands of policemen stationed outside the stadium.

Forget everything else. Forget the protests. Forget the overpriced tickets. Forget the fact that it was Karthik’s homecoming too. This was a fairytale, one for the ages. From the time Dhoni won the toss, till Jadeja heaved that six over the Madras Cricket Club, it was a dream come true for millions of fans.

The atmosphere was electric. The crowd, deafening. Even before the first ball was bowled, chants of “CSK, CSK” reverberated around the stadium. And the whistles were flying all around.

 

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Not once did the Chennai crowd flinch when Andre Russell banged 11 of his sixes into the stands. That’s the thing about the Chepauk crowd. You can even be an opposition player, yet the crowd will appreciate even if you’ve saved a four, or like Russell, pin the home team’s bowlers into submission.

Enter Shane Watson and Ambati Rayudu. Being the batting crazy nation that India is, the fans’ most eagerly awaited moment had arrived, CSK batting. To add spice, you’d correct it as CSK chasing.

The openers exploded in the Power Play, and after they were gone it was upto Chinna Thala and Thala to take CSK home. Ironic as it sounds, the crowd were at their quietest, when these two were batting. The lips stopped contorting into whistle producing shapes, as both the batsmen struggled. Chepauk was still waiting for someone to stir it back to life.

 

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As the climax neared, Sam Billings provided the ammunition for a grandstand finish. The CSK chants were back and the whistles were flying again. After a whirlwind knock, Sam departed. It was in the hands of the old CSK faithful, Bravo and Jadeja. 17 off 6 became 10 off 6. Which then became 4 off 2.

There was silence. I felt bad for the cleaners, as they’d have many nails to sweep the next day. And it happened. Good length, a tad full, and it had been dispatched into the stands. I had my dad, and two passionate fans from SSN, whom I met during the match, for company. As the ball swooned into the stands, the three of us screamed one special Tamil word that’s synonymous to a feeling that can’t be expressed (I’m not telling it here). We then turned around to see if my dad had heard us. Maybe, maybe not. But that wouldn’t change the sheer magnitude of emotion and brilliance we’d witnessed tonight.

Written by Sharada Prasad, second year, Electronics and Communications Engineering



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