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March 13, 2011

Just returned from the rebuild Wankhede Stadium Mumbai after witnessing some part of the New Zealand & Canada tie in the World Cup !

Back home now from the newly rebuild Wankhede Cricket Stadium in South Mumbai on D Road….witnessed some part of the  day match between New Zealand and Canada…this is the first match after the Stadium has been rebuild over the last two years…had gone to check out the Stadium and our Seats for the Finals on April 2,2011

Interestingly now I’ve been Live at the Stadium on both the occasions it has been inuagurated…

In 1975,Wankhede Stadium hosted their first ever match……I was there as a 13 year old watching the mighty West Indies take on India in a deciding Test Match for the series….I was in the same Pavilion that I was in today…what a coincidence !….I vividly remember the stands to our left,the West Stands had gone crazy when a Policeman beat up a Spectator who had run on to the field and the crowds got rowdy and violent and began ominous fires in the stand…Play was stopped and crowds had to be pacified…I remember how the West Indian Captain Clive Lloyd scored a magnificient double century and took West Indies to a series victory on the sixth day

Now on March 13,2011 and 36 years later I was there yet again after the stadium has been completely rebuild from scratch…..New Zealand had posted a mammoth 357 in their 50 overs and Canada gave a spirited fightback but fell short and lost this World Cup match

It was a Day match..but I went in after 2 pm…Our Entry was through the Main Gate called the Vinoo Mankad Gate….but the ground level way to the Stadium is quite narrow and barricaded by wooden scaffolding and I fear a stampede like situation on the crowded Final Day when thousands  Q up to go into the Stadium

First Look of the Stadium from inside was impressive…three tiers all around…however just two tiers on the East stands and diagonally across in the West Stands with Ventilated grooves in place of a third level to facilitate a strong cross breeze….Many Airconditioned Boxes on either side of the Stadium….three huge screens….two showing the match Live as telecast on TV and one continuously screening Match and Player Statistics….and one huge old fashioned and traditional Black Scoreboard 

We had tickets for Level 1 and 3 of the Garware Pavilion on the South side,besides the Commentators Box,and VIP Stands…We checked out Level 1 first…. too low and not too good a ground level view …..Level 2 is the best view…..but we had Level 3 tickets……Superb Aerial and Angular View of the whole ground…but a bit too high up….. there are bucket seats…but terribly dusty and dirty….the finishing of the flooring and the steps is poor and they remain rough and have not been levelled well…I found the steps a bit scary…too small and you ascend them you nearly hit your head on the bars handles that are at the beginning of each row….and when you descend be warned !….one trip or tumble and you will fall dangerously down….thankfully there is a Schindler Lift that you can take up to Level 3…it accomodates 10 people or 800 kgs…but there may be a Q on crowded days… need to go down a level to get some Drinks..only Pepsi… or Wafers…only Lays or Kurkure….Rs 25 and Rs 15 each respectively…Bottled Water too is available……you need to go even further down for some more variety of food…the bathrooms are clean and look decent because they’re new…hope they are maintained….picked up a World Cup Cotton Black T Shirt for Rs 500 and a Back pack for Rs 200 at the Souveniers Stall on the way out…..Caps cost Rs 400 and a Hat costs Rs 600..Polyester T Shirts cost Rs 900….World Cup T Shirts are in two colours White and Black…India T Shirt is in Blue….Took a Cab as No parking is allowed within a km either side of the Stadium…today was not crowded…mobiles were being allowed…took a few mobile snaps..posted them above  read more

Dhoni seems increasingly disinterested….India all out for 296 after being 267 for 1 !…and then Nehra ensures we lose to South Africa who successfully chase 13 in the first four balls of the last over

Methinks the whole Indian Team led by Captain Dhoni needs to go down on their knees and beg for forgiveness from Sachin Tendulkar,Virendra Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir !

…these three gave us a dream start…267 for 1 !…with Sachin blasting 111 of 101 balls,Sehwag a blistering 73 of 66 balls and Gambhir compiling a well made 69 of 75 balls

….and then a Cricket Tsunami….the last Nine Indian Wickets capitulated for just 29 runs in nine overs !..all out in the 49th over for 296 !…we did not even bat out the 50 overs !…our guys helped Dale Steyn get a fiver and Man of the Match award !

…the only thing that Dhoni won was the Toss !….he slammed the batsmen for playing to the galleries rather than displaying sound cricketing sense !….but he too scored just 12 of 21,albeit remaining not out…he needs to take the blame squarely for leading his side

What this result does is that with one match remaining against West Indies,India stands at 7 points and can at best get 9 if they win….we would have then tied one and lost one….South Africa with four matchs are at 6 points  and have two easy games left against Ireland and Bangladesh and can go to the top of the table with 10 points…they would have lost just one…this would place us at B 2 Ranking and in the Q F in Ahmedabad on March 24,2011 we will take on A 3 Ranker 

Yesterday’s Cricket World Cup B Group match of India v/s South Africa at Nagpur confirmed a few of my worries on Dhoni and his captaincy of late since the T 20 World Cup in May 2010

Refer to these previous blogs on this worry

Dhoni blames IPL Parties and Poor Performance for India’s poor show at the World Cup T 20 !…you really need to seriously introspect ,Dhoni !

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

India Throw their Wickets and Throw the Super 8 T 20 World Cup match against Australia

Saturday, May 8th, 2010

Dhoni has become increasingly disinterested in match proceedings of late….one can see Sehwag or Sachin directing bowlers and field placings….happens often to those who have made so much monies in very little time…hundreds of crores in his case

….have been more than intrigued at many of his on field and off field decisions….like yesterday giving Nehra to bowl the last over instead of Harbhajan Singh who was bowling beautifully and had picked three wickets already… Dhoni missed a huge trick directing Nehra to bowl the last and 50th over…Nehra had opened the bowling with Zaheer Khan and had a 4 over spell..then immediately switched ends and bowled another 3 overs…so at the end of 15 overs he had already bowled 7 overs…..and then came back to bowl just one over the 37th…before being entrusted with the crucial 50th…so he had not bowled for 12 over in between his third and fourth spell ! ….Harbhajan Singh was bowling splendidly and had figures of 3 for 53 of 9 at the end of the 47th over…31 runs were needed of the last three and Munaf bowled the 48th over and leaked it for 14 runs…..with 17 needed of the last two rightly Zaheer bowled  the 49th and gave away just 4 runs !…so 13 needed of the last over…and Nehra ensured South Africa got this in the first four balls ! read more

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