Carnival at Chinnaswamy stadium ahead of India-England tie (Lead)

February 27th, 2011 - 3:25 pm ICT by IANS  

Bangalore, Feb 27 (IANS) “I love India” headbands, blue t-shirts to match the Indian team’s colours, placards warning of explosive batting by Indians and roars of “India will win” - it was carnival time at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium here Sunday ahead of the India-England cricket World Cup clash.The day-night match at the stadium is only the second for both the teams in the 2011 World Cup, that too in the league round.

But the atmosphere around the stadium hours ahead of the match, which starts at 2.30 p.m., was as good as the two teams playing for the cup itself.

The enthusiasm and excitement of schoolchildren, youth, middle-aged men and women standing in the queues for hours to get into the stadium only grew as the clock moved towards the start of the match.

The early morning worry caused by cloudy weather disappeared as the sun beat down towards noon and hope rose that met prediction of 60 percent chances of rain towards evening or night would remain only a forecast.

Trying to match the Indians fervour was a group of English fans.

Many of them got their cheeks painted in the colours of their national flag, and were confident that their team will beat India.

Unlike Thursday, when ticket sales ended in chaos with police caning the milling crowd to control it, it was all order Sunday as police had advised those with tickets to come early to avoid the last minute rush.

Though the gates to the stadium opened at 10.30 a.m. — a full four hours before the start of the match — scores had begun forming queues from 8 a.m. itself!

Police had advised the fans to come early as they would be allowed entry after an elaborate security drill of physical frisking and mobile checking.

Over 7,000 police personnel with sniffer dog squads were on duty at the stadium for security. The stadium was also guarded overnight by over 100 police personnel.

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