Wankhede’s soul was in Mohali on Wednesday

March 30th, 2011 - 10:43 pm ICT by IANS  

Sachin Tendulkar Mumbai, March 30 (IANS) The grand finale of the World Cup is only three days away and the workforce is busy getting the Wankhede Stadium ready. Their pace of work Wednesday got affected somewhat with people glued to the happenings in the India-Pakistan semifinal at Mohali.

The work is going at a frenetic pace at the swanky venue, but many carried pocket transistors to keep abreast with the latest twists in the semifinal over 1,600 kms away.

Inside the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) headquarters, there were ecstatic shouts and sighs of disappointment as people crowded around television sets to watch fortunes swing from one end to the other. Sehwag’s fireworks in the early overs virtually brought work to a stop, till his sudden dismissal.

“Work is important. But everybody wants to enjoy the game. Can’t say anything. Too much emotion is involved,” said a police officer.

As Dhoni got out, an official swore. “S–t. What’s going to happen,” he exclaimed.

Master batsman Sachin Tendulkar kept the workers on the edge for some time, as he survived two close appeals and then reaped the benefits of dropped catches.

“Today is his day. He will get his 100th international century,” said a woman worker readying some signages for the day night exchange.

However, that was not to be and the little master finished 15 short.

It was almost a collective heartbreak. Policemen and private security guards of the MCA seemed shcked. A lot of youngsters involved with catering and hospitality, who had come to collect their passes, seemed downcast as Mumbai’s Chotebabu started his long walk back.

Groundsmen rolling the pitch where Sri Lanka will clash Saturday with the winner of the Mohali match for the trophy kept asking the latest score. “Do your work properly, there is not much time. The country’s prestige is involved in the (April 2) final. See the match later on TV,” said an official. But the man hardly seemed to mean what he said as he himself was keenly following the game. And his mild rebuke also had little effect on the groundsmen.

The refurbished stadium with state-of-the-art facilities can seat 33,500 people, and is expected to have a full house as it hosts its first World Cup final match.

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