Cheers and many tears, but Bengaluru proud of Men in Blue
People showed their support for the Indian team by stepping out in blue jerseys, and getting their faces painted with Indian flags.
BENGALURU: Cricket is India’s religion and Bengaluru surely lived up to its devotion. Not just hardcore cricket fans, even people with very little knowledge of the game did not want to miss the grand World Cup finale between India and Australia.
The streets were deserted on Sunday afternoon as city folk stayed indoors for an evening of cricket. Bars, restaurants and public places with big screens streaming the match live resounded with crowds and cheerleaders. And when India was hemmed in by an in-form Aussie team, and the runs barely trickled in, the collective disappointment was palpable. There was a muted silence in the last couple of overs, as David Warner’s fielding was exceptional, blocking all fours.
While many wished India’s bowling would make up for the loss in runs, fans were disheartened by the loss. Ayanava from Koramangala said, “India has played exceptionally well this season, proving their mettle in all the matches. We have a strong team but chances seemed slim post the first innings.”
There was a live screening at the World War Memorial on Brigade Road for 500 people. People showed their support for the Indian team by stepping out in blue jerseys, and getting their faces painted with Indian flags. Three girls who had travelled from Adugodi to be a part of the community screening left towards the end, disappointed by the loss.
Walking down the lanes along MG Raod and Indiranagar, one could hear the faint voice of the commentator, as people huddled around stores to watch the game. All eateries where the match was screened were full to capacity, and many restaurants stopped taking reservations by Saturday night due to the high demand.
The RCB Bar and Cafe on St Mark’s Road, which holds game nights and provides curated experience for sports, was lit up with fans. “It is a vibe that we are setting up, and we do this for every match. Live music was played and polaroid pictures were being taken. For special moments such as when a wicket was taken, or a six or four was hit, we were giving out gifts to the patrons,” said Sriram Sullia, who works on fan engagement at the cafe. He added that the cafe capacity is 350 people and around 10 screens were put up for the finals. “We tried to create an atmosphere for Bengalureans, however, many were disappointed after the first innings, when India finished batting.”
Restaurants ran multiple offers on drinks and food. Some places even charged entry fee and limited the number of group entries into cafes, expecting to make a profit of 40-50 per cent. “We had to close reservations on Saturday itself. It is, of course, a great moment for the country and everyone wants to cheer for India. We put up a huge projector. We are spread over one and half acres and we expected over 1500-2000 people over the weekend,” said Krishnapriya Bannerjee from URU Brewpark.