When the Brabourne Stadium hosted an Indian Premier League (IPL) game way back in 2015, the stands were filled to their full capacity, both teams had their own sets of supporters. As the popular venue owned by the Cricket Club of India (CCI) hosted its first match IPL match after a gap of nearly eight years with Mumbai Indians (MI) locking horns with the Delhi Capitals (DC) in IPL 2022 on Sunday, the conditions have changed a lot.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, just 25% of the stadium’s capacity was allowed in the stadium, thus leaving many seats empty. There were no supporters and the match was being conducted by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and not the franchise as earlier. The spectators were allowed in as per Covid-19 protocols of BCCI and the players are in a bio-secure bubble.
During the toss, Mumbai Indians skipper, Rohit Sharma said, “We look forward to coming back to Mumbai, the crowds come out in large numbers. Obviously some restrictions in terms of capacity but good to see crowds.”
But some things were the same — the stadium was a sea of blue with the colors of Mumbai Indians visible everywhere. Though Rohit Sharma had said before the start of the match that it was an ‘away’ match for his team as their home ground is the Wankhede stadium, there was still a lot of support for MI.
Also in focus on Sunday was the lack of facilities for fans at cricket stadiums in India as some spectators were not impressed with the seating arrangements in the stands, complained about the chairs provided in the stands.
— Sanchit Desai (@sanchitd43) March 27, 2022
Half of the stands don’t even have a roof, and not the forget the temperature can go up to 38°C. Since, the ground and the operations staff already knew that matches would be hosted here, a lot better could have been done.
— Prajakta (@18prajakta) March 27, 2022
@BCCI @IPL @MumbaiCricAssoc @SGanguly99 @JayShah This is how you treat spectators with plastic chairs, hot sun for cost of 3000/2500 each. Kudos for ur money interest rather than people comfort. @mufaddal_vohra @CricCrazyJohns @vlp1994 @CoverDrivenFor4 @Cricprabhu pls RT https://t.co/XmXQ8IgMDY
— KrishnaTej (@WidishThirdMan) March 27, 2022
A Chaadar on Ground would have been more better… Humare Paiso se Aish karenge aur hume aise treat karenge ye saare… #BoycottIPL
— Beauty Singh (@BeautyS08380049) March 27, 2022
Despite the apparent discomfiture, the atmosphere in the stands was festive with die-hard Mumbai cricket fans enjoying watching their first match from a stadium after a break. With it being a Sunday, there were enough people around the stadium that had come to soak in the cricket atmosphere.