Hyderabad: Cricket lovers literally sweated it out to watch their favourite teams in Hyderabad at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium on Sunday as mercury levels touched 40°C. Many Hyderabadis turned up to show their support for the home team, Hyderabad Sunrisers, as they took on Chennai Super Kings in the 11th edition of the Indian Premier League, but they were at risk of getting sunburn or sunstroke as the east and west stands of the stadium have no roof to shield them from the ferocious glare of the sun.
This led to some angry comments on social media and utter disbelief that 13 years after it was built, parts of the stadium have no roof cover. The east and west stands have a capacity of 22,000 seats.
The tickets for these two stands cost between Rs 100 and Rs 1,200. On Sunday, ticket holders shielded their faces from the sun with their hands and caps.
Ashwathy Vijayan, a CSK fan from Bengaluru says, “I flew in for the match to see two of my favourite teams play and was shocked to know that I won’t have respite from the sweltering heat inside the stadium. It’s high time that authorities take spectators dem-ands into consideration.”
The Hyderabad Cricket Association has promised many times that there will be enough cover for those sitting in the stands. This hasn’t happened and the excuse is that the canopy would obstruct the flood lights!
Spectators in the east stand bear the full brunt of the sun till around 5 pm. Fortunately, all matches this season began at 8 pm, except the one on April 22.
Raj Kishore, a cricket buff from Begumpet, says ticket holders have to put up with the rain too. “It is basic courtesy to ensure that spectators who come from all parts of the country are not drenched or sunburnt. All international stadiums, including the Wankhede in Mumbai, have overhead roofs. Those who love the game won’t mind the rain or sun, but a stadium’s reputation depends on the spectators’ comfort during the match,” he said.
On Sunday, spectators were grateful to those selling cardboard hats outside the stadium. Others held up huge placards for shade. Five more matches have been scheduled on April 22 and 26, and on May 5, 7 and 19....