Cricket

Road Safety World Series 2020: Fans turn up in huge numbers to witness Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag as India Legends beat West Indies

The hype around the India-West Indies Legends contest at Wankhede Stadium was high as thousands came to attend. Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Brian Lara were the key figures for young fans.

Road Safety World Series 2020: Fans turn up in huge numbers to witness Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag as India Legends beat West Indies

Lights, camera, cricket! On Saturday, it was an opportunity for Mumbai’s cricket fans and enthusiasts to turn the clock back and watch their childhood heroes take centre stage again - when India Legends took on West Indies Legends in the first match of the inaugural Road Safety World Series.

Virender Sehwag in action against West Indies Legends. Image: Road Safety World Series Merdia

Virender Sehwag in action against West Indies Legends. Image: Road Safety World Series Merdia

The hype around the contest was at its very best as fans of all ages thronged to the stadium in large numbers, and chants of ‘Sachin, Sachin’ were ever present almost throughout the game as Mumbai’s very own Sachin Tendulkar took the field at the iconic Wankhede Stadium for the first time since his retirement in 2013. Just over 26,000 fans turned up to witness their childhood heroes in action, and the legends did not disappoint.

While for most of them, it was about witnessing the Sachin-Viru partnership, there were a few who were eager to catch a glimpse of West Indies great Brian Lara.

“We wanted to see Lara play. Sachin, we have seen him playing many times while Lara we have only seen him a couple of times, and in the recent Bushfire game he played really well. It was kind of to see the likes of Sachin, Yuvraj and Lara play for one last time,” explained cricket fan Anand Lakshmanan.

Another fan was amused with Sachin’s playing technique, saying, “I had never seen him live. I am experience watching the legend playing live for the first time, when we see him on the TV and on the ground, it is completely different; his technique and everything and all that he has practiced over the years. It is absolutely beautiful to watch. He started off with a four, as he always does. Sachin’s technique is something you cannot express in words.”

Whereas for some, it was about just living the moment and understanding how Mumbai reacted to a Sachin innings. “I just wanted to know the atmosphere, how Mumbai reacts to Sachin so it is fun, I had come for an IPL game so this is a different experience,” said a fan named Prashanth.

The crowd erupted when Sachin and (Virender) Sehwag came out to open in India’s run chase after West Indies put 150 on board. The duo did not disappoint, putting up an 83-run stand, with Sehwag was at his vintage best with a classy knock of 74 off 57 deliveries.

One of them recollected the Indian Premier League Qualifier between Kings XI Punjab and Chennai Super Kings, where Sehwag scored a century.

“I had come here in 2014 to watch an IPL match between KXIP and CSK, so Sehwag played a knock of 122. In that match, he smashed everyone for sixes, so even that was a great experience. It did not feel like they were playing after a long time because they were in good touch. Their fitness was great, saw some good fielding efforts as well. It shows class is permanent. So, it stamps their authority on that,” a fan said.

Sehwag, too, was pleased to get a chance to bat with Tendulkar again, but said this was for a greater cause.

“We had fun playing after a long time, once again I got an opportunity to bat with Tendulkar. The cause is very huge, because, we need to create more awareness about road safety. You have to be really careful while driving, crossing the roads. It is a must to fasten seatbelts and wear a helmet. If we follow the rules, there is a chance of reduction of the number of accidents,” he said at the post-match press conference.

Updated Date: March 08, 2020 14:05:54 IST

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