Thanks to a contest on twitter by Lalit Modi for his followers, I was one among 30 fans to win hospitality suite tickets to the finals of Champions League T20 in Hyderabad.. I soon realized that this was one oppurtunity that i could not afford to miss. Booked My train tickets almost immediately. Cancelled it, rebooked on Tatkal. How many fans could imagine being seated in a VIP box? How many can imagine watching a match with the chairman of IPL and CLT20 besides you? I felt special. I was looked at as a chief of RCB for a while as some fans seated in the adjacent boxes called out: “Sir, can you take a picture?” “Can you get me a autograph” as soon as Lalit Modi walked in. A humble man that he is also called for Adam Gilchrist when one of us wished to meet him.
It was an experience worth paying for like most of us did. We were to make out own travel arrangements to the match and to Hotel ITC Kaktiya for collecting the tickets. Some of them who I pointed out in Nidhi’s post, travelled from Dubai and South Africa.. Like before at the RCB fanatic fan challenge, socializing wasn’t very difficult with cricket being the common talking point. Unlimited supply of food and drinks and a pollard six! What else could one ask for? I did. Sania was on the screen and I wanted to be next to her I had to let this feeling go. I was getting greedy. The only way was to convince myself that there will be another contest that will take me closer
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As we came close to our very own 15 memorable minutes, The room suddenly filled with yay!! as Faisal from ESPN Star told us about being on TV.. Mr. Modi thanked us all for the suggestions and walked out celebrity style! Nobody bothered to know what had happened in the match. By the time we realized anything T&T had lost quite a few wickets. Pollard treated us with a few sixes, but the writing was on the wall.. before we could even realize, the firecrackers were set ablaze and NSW Blues had won. It was sad, the stadium was stunned with silence. One could hear the NSW blues celebrate as a number of people were headed home already.
A few T&T fans decided to bid the team a deserving goodbye waiting for the players to board the team bus.. The Morale was down, the atmosphere silent. As the team walkd out, One could easily see the pride in each of the players eyes. With T&T flagsheld high the team waved out to the fans and boarded the bus. Darren Ganga smiled when I thanked him for the entertainment his team gave us Indian fans through the tournament. A cheer that followed the teams departure proved that ‘cricket’ is always what Indian fans appreciated. The NSW blues boys jumped with joy, been cans flowing, singing as they went into their bus. Brett Lee waved out to the fans and the bus drove past us.
CLT20 gives me long lasting memories after featuring as one in top 9 RCB fans to meet Anil kumble and Ray Jennings of RCB. Not only meet but showcase their loyality for the team as they judged each one of us in an audition. Watching the finals, discussing IPL 3, with the man who is turned out to be the face of Indian cricket in the last 3 years, Mr. Lalit Modi was a dream come true. I can only thank the organizers for giving me this chance, and hope this continues as this presents an oppurtunity to loyal fans like myself to meet people who they dream to be.