There’s no battle more exhilarating than the one between Bengaluru and Chennai when it comes to the IPL. The sea of yellow and red fans screaming for their respective squads in the stadium, the Kohli-Dhoni chants, and fan wars — Royal Challengers Bengaluru versus Chennai Super Kings is always a treat for cricket buffs. While namma team will fight it out with their arch-rivals in the very first IPL 2019 game in Chepauk Stadium tonight, a huge number of aficionados from the RCB Fan Army are travelling to Chennai to cheer for RCB.
“We’d planned this trip during IPL 11. We got tickets to an away game in Chennai and everything was set but sadly, the game was shifted to Pune and we had to cancel. Since then, we’ve been waiting for this opportunity and we didn’t want to let it slip at any cost this year,” says Vitthal Shanbag, who will be travelling with 70 other fans from namooru. “Also, 20 RCB fans from Chennai will join us in the stadium,” he adds.
From preparing chants and songs to dance moves, the fan group is kicked about the once-in-a-lifetime experience. “We booked the tickets with the help of the RCB management. They have been helping us a lot with lot of fan activities and engagements this year,” says Allen Abhishek, who founded the RCB Fan Army in 2009. He has seen the club grow from 50 to 5,000. “We conduct fan meet-ups and cricket tournaments every year and do community work. This year, we visited an orphanage and raised funds for them. We meet at least a thousand fans every year and the number keeps increasing,” he adds.
The Kohli vs Dhoni on-field rivalry has always been an attraction for fans of the sport. The thrill of the RCB-CSK game is something that Pramod Muniyappa, test manager at Ericsson is greatly looking forward to. “Since we’re a big group of people, it’ll be fun to wave flags, chant and groove together and also do some masti while travelling. It’s like preparing for a wedding! It’s been 12 years now and we all have one dream — life the cup, we will colour Bengaluru roads red,” he says.
So, how ready are you for the red vs yellow clash?