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Cricket fans throng Uppal stadium for first IPL match in Hyderabad after 3-year hiatus

The soaring mercury levels could not deter cricket fans from thronging the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium at Uppal

Updated On – 12:14 AM, Mon – 3 April 23

Cricket fans throng Uppal stadium for first IPL match in Hyderabad after 3-year hiatus
Fans cheer for Sunrisers Hyderabad during the IPL match against Rajasthan Royals at Uppal stadium on Sunday. — Photos: Surya Sridhar

Hyderabad: The soaring mercury levels could not deter cricket fans from thronging the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium at Uppal on Sunday to witness the first Indian Premier League (IPL) match in the city after a gap of three years, when hosts Sunrisers Hyderabad took on Rajasthan Royals.

The fans started to queue up from as early as 1 pm in the simmering heat. While the Metros were running full, the long queues at the gates of the Uppal stadium was enough of an indicator that the city crowd missed the IPL. The last time an IPL match was held in Hyderabad was in 2019 and the event didn’t return until now due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The stadium was almost full before the toss and the cheers were loud from the first delivery. A sea of orange colour filled the stadium giving it a festive look. Around 29,845 spectators were inside the stadium when the match began and the stands reached their full capacity of 37,731 by the end of the first innings.

Much to the entertainment of the crowd, the Rajasthan Royals’ innings turned out to be a perfect stage. The belter of track that was on the offer produced over 200 runs in the first innings.

But the cheers from the Orange Army — the fans of Sunrisers Hyderabad — were the loudest whenever the host bowlers took a wicket.

“It is fantastic to see my favourite team play live after a long time. We missed this badly. Though my favourite player (David) Warner is no longer in the side, I am thrilled to see the Sunrisers play,” said Anand, an IT employee.

However, the fans started leaving the stadium much before the match was over as the Sunrisers were never in the chase, losing wickets at regular intervals.

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