If you were to step into Adelaide on Thursday, you wouldn’t believe that there is an India-Pakistan game scheduled on Sunday. The buzz is nowhere compared to all the hype and hoopla back home in India. Adelaide is a nice and quiet city,
quite a change if you come from a place like Mumbai. But this quiet and small setting is to witness one of the biggest sporting spectacles. Miles away from the subcontinent, the cricketing giants will clash in a high-voltage encounter at the ICC World Cup 2015.
While the fans have not come out in huge numbers, they are expected to arrive in the city by the weekend. Swami Army, one of the biggest fan groups, have a few members in Adelaide. They will get further ‘reinforcements’ over the weekend to spice this game up. Pakistan fans are also expected to trickle into the city, and one can be sure that their entry will not be as quiet as their team’s. Sans Misbah-ul-Haq, who is away in Melbourne, for the ICC World Cup 2015 opening ceremony, the Pakistan team quietly entered the city and checked in to their hotel.
Out on the streets, the buzz is that one of the main streets close to the stadium would be flooded with fans on the eve of the game. Ironically, it is Valentine’s Day! Sure, there is no love lost between the two sides. But, the Adelaide city dwellers are well aware that Indians and Pakistanis will be in the city in huge numbers. As you walk the streets, many people greet you and say, “I presume you are here for the cricket match!”
Perhaps the lack of buzz at ground zero could be a blessing in disguise for the players. India have had a few quiet days away from it and commenced practice at the St Peter’s College Ground, a lovely venue close to the Adelaide Oval.
Pakistan will start on Friday. The excitement will only build on Saturday. This is a Valentine’s Day Adelaide will not forget.
(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_45)