Friday, February 2, 2007

Wickets of Fun

On Saturday we attended the India vs. West Indies cricket match in Chennai, India. Attending an Indian cricket match in the year of the Cricket World Cup was the unlikely and fortuitous result of the fact that our Indian co-worker has cricket connections. Having played at the state level for Tamil Nadu, and having roomed with one of India's rising stars, our friend secured us shaded tickets to an impossible match.

While the match lasted nearly 100 overs, and ran from 2:30-10pm, it was hardly a slow event. India is notoriously busy, and to layer on top of the status quo the crowd and enthusiasm of national team cricket in the year of a world cup still doesn't do justice to the craze and buzz in the balmy Chennai air. Streets were blocked, and we hopped our way over standing water and through crowded smiling streets toward the stadium, armed with flags, orange and green, and rare expat cricket enthusiasm.

India, in my superficial view, combines a bizarre mix of chaos and order that I suppose comes as a result of its immense population. Strict rules exist, but with the excess of employees, plurality of officialdom means you can often slip by. If mom says no, just ask dad. When I was stopped at the gate with my camera and told unequivocally that I could not enter, I merely had to loiter, shuffle pockets, claim it was a cell phone all along to a new guard, and walk through the buzzing metal detector to no notice. Bingo -- try doing that to the superbowl! It helped that I also distracted them with the old "sunblock in the white-boy pocket" card to evoke laughter from the bevy of bronzed local guards.

Though they don't serve "adult beverages" at Indian cricket matches, they do serve samosas and ice cream. While the samosas come with dirty fingers and greasy cardboard, they proved a tastey addition to watching Brian Lara (the Michael Jordan of cricket) disarm the Indian fielders with 80+ runs. West Indies won by 3 wickets.

No comments: