I was there last night. The atmosphere in the Maj. Dhyan Chand National Stadium hosting the FIH Hockey World Cup was electrifying. The stands were almost full. The sound was deafening. The Astroturf was gleaming in the floodlight. Amidst this the team India lost their way. Once the Aussies were 2-0 up within the first 7 minutes, Indian team was found meandering in the in the middle like a lost lot, desperate to find ways to stop the rampaging Aussies. This desperation helped the Aussies in pumping in 3 more goals, 2 of them were very soft ones. The net result was a 5-2 drubbing received by India.
(Pic1 : the cheering crowd)
(Pic2: India - Australia match in progress)
But the good thing was that India still could score 2 goals and both were field goals. The skill of the Indian players in dribbling was much above the Aussies. But Aussies were more powerful and fast. Indians had no answer to their blitzkrieg. Actually we never had expected Indians to win this match, but did not expect to lose them that badly either.
We also got to see the Pakistan – Spain match and to our delight saw Sohail Abbas taking a penalty corner. The onlt PC Pakistan had managed in the second half and they scored the winning gola of it. Everyone supported Pakistan in that match. The Pakistan team acknowledged this support by doing a lap of honor after the match which they had won 2-1.
(Pic3: Pakistan - Spain match in progress)
(Pic4 : Pakistan team doing a lap of honour for the crowd support)
Overall, it was a wonderful experience being at the stadium supporting our team which will be happy if they can finish 6th in the tournament. But we also get to see some world class hockey. If India can finish around 6th, they will be back in the elite group that gets to play Champions trophy. With a ranking of 12th, India is not getting enough chances to play regularly with top teams.
World Cups do not come to India that often. It is taking place after 28 years. Who knows when it will be next? So we are going back to the stadium next Saturday, this time with families. Lets all be there and egg on our team to finish at least 6th.
Outing with Family ?
Yes, one can go there with families and kids. Toilets in the building are newly laid and are relatively clean. Much better than what you get in cricket stadiums. Several fast food stalls have been put up in the complex. Tickets cost you just 100/- for 3 matches. SRK extracted Rs.140/- for MNIK.
For many, it was shocker to find that tickets are sold only at the Ambedkar Stadium which is several kilometers away from the venue. This is ridiculous. So get your tickets beforehand. The best way to get ticket is to buy them online from ticketgenie.in. They have an option in which for 60/- rupees extra, tickets are delivered at your address by Blue Dart courier.
Prohibited Items at the Venue
Delhi police has published a list of items prohibited in the stadium in the TOI dated 28th Feb. Items confiscated are just dumped at the gate. If you are lucky, you may get them back. But to be safe, it is advisable not to carry these items. Some of them are : Bag (may be including large ladies handbags), camera or handycam, pen, flag with poles (however only flags are allowed), coins and eatables from outside including water bottles. Mobile phones and keys are allowed.
posted by Rupankar Mahanta at 12:43 PM
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