IPL finals: Loyal CSK fans rejig itinerary after washout but fans complaint about entry-exit issues

Ahmedabad: They have descended in Ahmedabad from all parts of the country — from Chennai, Bengaluru, Kochi down south, from Delhi, Chandigarh up north, from neighbouring Mumbai to get a glimpse of their beloved ‘Thala’ (elder brother) one last time in that yellow jersey.

But on Sunday evening, whatever the travelling CSK fans proposed, the ‘Weather Gods’ disposed as it was incessantly hosing down throughout the evening throwing the itinerary of travelling fans into complete disarray.

With a reserve day in place, the IPL final will be played on Monday evening here with fans yet again expected to fill the Narendra Modi Stadium here to the brim, with the venue’s capacity being a humongous 132,000.

With the fans allowed to watch the final on Sunday’s tickets, there were many fans, who had scheduled their hotel check-out after the final and some, who didn’t even book hotels, all flocked to the Ahmedabad railway station and there were pictures on social media how they spent the night at the station.

But everyone won’t be so lucky as work commitments will force a lot of people to leave without watching the match on ‘Reserve Day’.

Indore-based businessman Vikas Kedia is one such unlucky man. He had driven all the way to Ahmedabad with his family of four, including wife and two sons, for the final here on Sunday.

Kedia informed that his 10-year-old son had a great desire to catch a glimpse of MS Dhoni, for which he had tickets for seats closest to the dug-out to get a glimpse of the legend.

Unfortunately, the game did not take place and the family had to keep moving up and down trying to find shelter and cover from the incessant rains, which made their experience tougher.

“Once it started pouring down, it was very difficult as everyone scampered for shelter and with our kids, it felt a bit unsafe in that crowd. There was no network in the stands and every possibility that me and my wife would be separated from our kids due to the jostling,” said Kedia.

Due to work commitments, the Kedia family will head back home on Monday without watching the match or their son getting the glimpse of Dhoni.

“My elder son started sobbing in the car as we left, since he did not get to see Dhoni,” the dejected father in him said.

If Kedia wasn’t so lucky, Vadodara-based Dr Nirav Chavda, who is a resident doctor at the Civil Hospital in the city, wasn’t ready to return back to work without watching the final.

Dr Chavda had travelled to Ahmedabad for the last two matches — the Qualifier 2 and the final — and will extend his stay.

“I came here one day before the Qualifier, got the tickets from the stadium counter after standing in the queue for hours. But it was a mixed experience last night, they have re-scheduled the match, which is what I wanted,” he said.

But Dr Chavda didn’t forget to mention the tethering issues that affects every cricket loving fan, who wants to watch live proceedings.

“Getting out of the stadium was a big issue. Our car got stuck in the mud and we literally had to push it out,” he added, saying that he would watch the match and extend his leave.

Sumit Lahoti and his friends, three are from Chennai and one from Hyderabad, managed to reach Ahmedabad on Sunday evening and made it to the ground by 8:30pm, but were left disappointed standing amid heavy downpour.

“Yes, we have cancelled tickets for our return journey,” said Lahoti, who is a mechanical engineer from Gulbarga in Karnataka.

“I came here one day before (on Saturday) to get the tickets. My friends arrived during the match but it was raining. We will now need fresh tickets, I guess we will move to Mumbai from where we are likely to get more trains to Chennai and Hyderabad,” he said.

Dr Abhilasha Negi from Uttarakhand had taken a leave for the final and was supposed to travel back to her place on Monday, but she will have to re-book her tickets and assumes she will be able to take a flight only on Tuesday morning, and would go directly to her work in a government medical college.

“I was lucky to have found a place to stay at the BJ Medical College as I am an alumni. I had a flight today, but will have to push it for tomorrow. I had taken a leave for Qualifier 2 and the final, but I guess I will have to go to the hospital straight from the airport,” she said.

Abhilasha said it was a horrible experience for her at the Narendra Modi Stadium.

“Everything just went wrong, it was perhaps the worst day of my life. First we had to stand in the rain for 30 minutes getting drenched as people were not moving up (under the roof). We got a little sick, in some areas the sewage water was at waist-level.

“I saw a few people slipping and falling down in that dirty water, including an old woman,” she said, adding that their tickets were damaged due to rain and she was not sure how to attend the match.

Himanshu Suhalka had travelled with his friend in Udaipur, but since he has work having recently joined his father’s business, he would return and not watch the final.

“It is already Monday. I would have loved to watch the game but I have to go back. Also, it might rain tonight as well,” he said.

The majority of the spectators here, despite the home team Gujarat Titans making it to the final, were donning Dhoni’s No.7 jersey.