IPL 2024: Ignoring IMD’s advice, fans brave rains to support SRH

The Director of Enforcement, Vigilance and Disaster Management of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation took to X sharing the weather update and asking citizens to be vigilant.
Rains play play spoilsports to Sunrisers Hyderabad's IPL game  
against the Gujarat Titans at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad on Thursday.
Rains play play spoilsports to Sunrisers Hyderabad's IPL game against the Gujarat Titans at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad on Thursday.Photo | Vinay Madapu, EPS

HYDERBAD: Heavy rains lashed Hyderabad on Thursday afternoon with the highest recorded rainfall being over 51 mm as of 4 pm according to the Telangana State Development Planning Society (TSDPS). The downpour led to flooding in several parts of the city. Vehicles were seen crawling on the roads with the travel time increasing considerably.  

The Director of Enforcement, Vigilance and Disaster Management of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation took to X sharing the weather update and asking citizens to be vigilant. At 4 pm, the Indian Meteorological Department issued a moderate rain and thundershower alert for the GHMC limits. The IMD also advised people to monitor the weather before chalking out any plans for going out apart from predicting more rainfall for the evening and night.

The prediction by the IMD and GHMC's advice would have been enough to deter people from venturing out from their homes. But it seemed to have fallen on deaf ears as far as Sunrisers Hyderabad fans were concerned. They braved rains and traffic snarls and somehow made their way to the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium at Uppal in the city, skidding through the wet and muddy surroundings.

By 9:50 pm, around 20,000 fans were at the venue which boasts a capacity of around 40,000. In all, 33,871 ticket holders were in the stadium as those many tickets were scanned for entry. Rain certainly affected the attendance as for the entirety of the season, every match at the venue recorded almost a full house.

Only a few IPL teams enjoy wholehearted support from their fans and the Hyderabad franchise was definitely not one among them only till recently. Neither did they enjoy the support of Whistlepodu Army like Chennai Super Kings nor did they have fans who are known to stand behind Royal Challengers Bengaluru despite heartbreaks year after year. It all seemed to have changed this season with the team performing exceptionally well under the ODI World Cup winning captain Pat Cummins.

Explosive start from their openers Travis Head and Abhishek Sharma along with constant hammering from Heinrich Klaasen, Nitish Kumar Reddy and Aiden Markram seem to have re-energised the sleeping Orange Army, which has been longing for a good show by their team since their title-winning campaign in the 2016 season under David Warner.

Ravi is one such fan, who has been a part of Orange Army for almost four years but remained inactive mostly given the team’s show in the past few seasons. This edition, Ravi is once again in the stands to support his team and make sure they make it to the play-offs. “This is my fourth match this season. The way the openers are batting has given us hope. For years, I have been waiting for the Hyderabad franchise to do well but they didn’t get that success. This season, they have renewed our hopes,” Ravi told this daily. He resides at Alwal, a suburb of the city and travelled around 30km despite heavy rains and traffic jams.

Kranthi Kumar, chief engineer with the Indian Navy, tagged along with Ravi as he has been a silent SRH fan for years but wanted to see them perform well in his first experience from the stadium. “Indian players like Abhishek, Reddy, and Abdul Samad are doing well. I know Cummins deserves praise for this improved show but we want our domestic players to perform. With their exceptional performances, they have given us a reason to come out in huge numbers to support them.

We now need one good pacer,” Kranthi said. The new-found love from the fans has even surprised the franchise with Simon Helmot, SRH assistant coach, terming the crowd the team’s 13th impact player. “We remember the first years here at SRH when we were developing a fan base. There may have been some space in the crowd, there may have even been times when there was some support for the opposition as well. But hasn’t that changed?...I’ll say this year has been the most vocal, the nosiest, and the most supporting crowd that I can ever remember,” Helmot had said speaking on the support.

Kranthi and Ravi bought the tickets more than 150 times of its original price. The duo like other supporters were worried as persistent rains devoid them of the action they have been desperately waiting for. It might have made them nervy and restless but they were not dejected as has been the case for the past few years. This time they have enough reasons to smile, putting aside every heartbreak as they can hope for a repeat of the 2016 title triumph. Aussie Warner was at the helm of affairs eight years ago and who else than his compatriot Cummins to bring back that joy?

SRH third team to advance

Hyderabad: Hyderabad punched their place in the playoff stages as incessant rains washed out their game against Gujarat without a ball being bowled. Because of the wash out, Delhi Capitals became the fourth team to be eliminated. Lucknow are also on the blink and will need multiple miracles to remain in contention. At this stage, it looks very likely that the clash between Bengaluru and Chennai (another contest that may see lots of rain) will be a winner-takes-all clash. 

Related Stories

No stories found.

X
The New Indian Express
www.newindianexpress.com