Any routine practice match, especially on a working day, may not witness a big crowd, but the one featuring the visiting England team here on Tuesday was a special one.
It was the final time that India’s most successful skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni was seen leading the side although it’s an ‘A’ team. And the crowds too nearly packed the Brabourne Stadium in South Mumbai to witness ‘Captain Cool’, for one last time at the helm.
Notably, the entry to the crowd was free for this particular match. As the first wicket of Mandeep Singh fell, the crowds cheered “Dhoni-Dhoni” but captain cool again surprised everyone with his unexpected decision of getting down at number 5.
While the crowd as busy hyperactively cheering Mahi’s name, one fan went a step further to show his love for the captain cool. Soon after the 45th over, suddenly a guy in black t-shirt came running towards Dhoni just to touch his feet. Dhoni already noticed his fan and did not stop him from running into the field and asked the security staff not to interfere. Instead, the not only let him touch his feet but also shook hands with him.
The sight was a delight to the eyes of Dhoni fans and definitely this made the match even more memorable for Dhoni and us as well!
The Ranchi superstar and captain of the 2007 World T20 and 2011 World Cup winning squads was leading the India A side in the first of two warm-up matches to be played by the tourists here. Since the afternoon, queues were seen at the gates of CCI as a palpable excitement was seen among the crowd. Initially, the East Stand was filled to its capacity, then the crowd thronged the North Stand at the Churchgate station end. As the day progressed, the West stand too were being filled to capacity.