Bhubaneswar: In a country where cricket is considered as religion, there is no age limit for being an ardent fan. From toddlers hardly able to hold a bat to senior citizens enjoying a cricket match at ease- Indian cricket fans come in all shapes and sizes.
One such fan that we chanced upon was 13-year-old Shlok Samanta who along with his cricket bat was in wait to get autographs in a notebook filled with pictures of his favourite cricket stars.
Shlok is a Class VII student from a private school in Bhubaneswar and a budding cricketer. He confesses, “I have been waiting outside the team hotel immediately after my practice session is done with the hope of getting an autograph or a selfie. I was here yesterday too when the teams arrived.”
A dedicated MS Dhoni fan, he repents at not being able to see the legend in action as the star wicket-keeper has recused himself till ICC T20 World Cup to be held on November 15, 2020. He says, “For current series I will be cheering for Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma. They are my favourites.”
Shlok adds that he has also availed tickets for the match so in case he fails to get selfie or autograph today, he can try for the same on Sunday.
Accompanying Shlok was his mother K Vijayshree. A teacher by profession, she says, “He was so happy that the players are in Bhubaneswar and anxious to meet them. I simply had to bring him here.”
Unfortunately, Shlok was left disappointed as the players did not step out for practice today. A few members of the West Indies had gone for shopping in the morning and the hosts will follow routine in evening. The little yet huge fan missed out in between. We hope that he gets his wish fulfilled during the match at the Barabati stadium.
The cricket teams of India and West Indies arrived in Bhubaneswar yesterday ahead of the third ODI to be played at the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack. While the hosts were thrashed in the first match, they bounced back and lodged a thumping victory of 107 runs in the second ODI. Today was a rest day for both the teams. They do have their practice session tomorrow; with the Carribeans taking the morning hours and Indians taking the afternoon hours for practice.
Now all eyes are on the final and deciding ODI to be held on Sunday where it has been predicted to rain runs. The tickets were sold out like hotcakes and fans are waiting for a shower of boundaries and sixes.