IPL Revives Visakhapatnam as DC Battles CSK Amid Allegations

Visakhapatnam: After a five-year intermission, the Indian Premier League (IPL) fever returned to the coastal city in a blaze of yellow on Sunday. The Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA stadium crackled with an electric atmosphere as the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) took on the Delhi Capitals (DC).

Roads buzzed with fans sporting the iconic yellow jerseys of CSK and the Delhi Capitals (DC). Stalls along the National Highway did brisk business selling team merchandise. Inside the stadium, a sea of yellow swayed and chanted "Dhoni! Dhoni!" in reverence for the legendary wicket-keeper batsman.

However, the euphoria faced a challenge as the DC batsmen took to the crease. Their aggressive batting display put some tension amongst the CSK faithful. Despite the overwhelming yellow support, the tide seemed to be turning.

Adding to the sting, allegations of black marketing marred the celebratory atmosphere. Fans reported exorbitant prices for tickets, claiming to have purchased tickets priced at Rs 4,000 for a staggering Rs 7,000- Rs 8,000, and Rs 7,000 tickets being resold for a whopping Rs 12,000 or more. Accusations flew towards the organizers, with reports of individuals selling tickets outside the stadium even after the match had begun.

Despite the controversy, the electric atmosphere inside the stadium remained palpable. The match may have unfolded with unexpected twists, but the return of the IPL to Visakhapatnam undoubtedly rekindled the city's love for the game.

Santosh Kumar, in conversation with the Deccan Chronicles, mentioned that he had come from Mumbai to watch the match. He expressed his support for DC, citing his admiration for David Warner. He also shared his excitement at witnessing Warner's half-century.

Another fan, Rion Kumar from Visakhapatnam, professed his immense admiration for Thalaiva (MS Dhoni). He speculated that this might be Dhoni's final match and expressed sadness at the possibility of his retirement. Rion recounted the challenges he faced while trying to secure tickets, waiting in queues on two laptops only to find them sold out. Eventually, he resorted to purchasing tickets from a black market seller.

It's worth remembering how Dhoni burst onto the international scene with his explosive innings of 145 against arch-rivals Pakistan at the ACA VDCA International Cricket Stadium in PM Palem almost twenty years ago. Even today, Vizag holds a special place in Dhoni's heart, akin to his hometown Ranchi.
Fans displayed banners expressing their admiration for Ruturaj's performance in his new role but also urging for the promotion of the Thalaiva up the batting order to justify their ticket expenses.

Adding to the allure of the venue, MS Dhoni achieved a milestone of 300 dismissals in T20s, making him the first and only wicketkeeper to accomplish such feat in short format cricket and for Vizag will be celebrated for both 300 and 148!
The crowd at Vizag erupted with excitement as Rishabh Pant delivered a stunning late surge, securing his first fifty upon returning to the Indian Premier League. Pant's explosive batting propelled Delhi to a formidable total of 191 runs against Chennai, leaving spectators in awe.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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