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Eden crowd laps up cricket's new avatar

Agencies

Posted: Apr 20, 2008 at 1835 hrs IST
      

Kolkata, April 20:: Braving the summer afternoon heat, a near capacity crowd filled up the 87,000 seats at the Eden Gardens as a confident Kolkata Knight Riders took on Deccan Chargers in the fourth Indian Premier League encounter.

The stands at the country's hallowed cricket turf filled up quickly as the knowledgeable crowd had its first look at the concept of cricket and entertainment joining hands.

And for the Eden, steeped in tradition, it truly was the hour of transition. "We are used to traditional cricket like Tests and limited over matches. But this is something new and primarily the big names of world cricket have attracted the crowd," Goutam Banerjee, 50, who has been watching cricket at the stadium since the early 1970s told PTI as he was entering it.

The huge stadium on the banks of the Hooghly river looked colourful as the crowd lustily cheered Sourav Ganguly's Kolkata Knight Riders, for whom the city is the home ground.

The team's massive victory in the opening match in Bangalore against the Rahul Dravid-led Bangalore Royal Challengers had raised the enthusiasm and anticipation levels.

Before the tie began, matinee idol Shah Rukh Khan, whose Red Chillies Entertainment Limited owns the Knight Riders team, sent the large crowd delirious as he came out of the Club House to wave at them.

Shah Rukh, who later appeared with his team on a specially erected platform for which a section of the J Block was kept vacant, sported the number 12 shirt of the Knight Riders with Khan embossed on it.

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