A lot of my friends were berating me for ‘wasting’ my money on going for the test match between SL and India @ the Colombo Oval (P. Saravanamuttu Stadium), but I told them that they were missing a great ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ chance to watch a great match unfold. And lo, I was right on the money!
I won’t be talking much about the match itself in this post, but more about the whole experience.
Frankly, there’s nothing better than watching a test match at the grounds itself. If it’s at home, you tend to shift to other channels, go and check your mail, and all that while watching the match, and thereby you don’t fully focus on the match, but, once you’re at the stadium, you can help but be focused on the game. The way the crowd ‘oohhss’ and ‘aahhss’ when a ball whizzes past the batsmen, and the deafening cheers that greet the fall of a wicket of the touring side is just unbeatable. I don’t think I’ve ever displayed as much emotion as I did during the match when a wicket fell. I was up on my feet and punching my hands and roaring as soon as the Indian wickets started to tumble like a pack of cards. There were some people who, after Thilan Samaraweera snaffled a superb catch, shouted “Thilan Samaraweera, you’re better than Mangala Samaraweera” (a famous politician here, who defected from the Government, and is not related to Thilan), which evoked laughter in the stands. Then there was a stand where one group was shouting ‘Sri Lanka’ while another group, equally vociferous, shouted ‘India’.
However, one regret I do have is that the stadium officials were quite foolish as to not to show any of the replays (even the non – controversial ones), thereby really leaving us in the dark when reviews were asked for by the players. Since I had my phone and my headset with me, I could quickly tune into the radio commentary, which updated me with details of what was happening. However, when the commentators were commentating in Sinhala (one of the local languages), I was lost! 😦
Otherwise, all in all, a great experience, and I plan to go and smell the sweet air of India being beaten black-and-blue in the Lion’s den! 😀