Mohali, March 3 : South African opener Hashim Amla marked his guard and was ready for the first ball from Dutch pacer Mudassar Bukhari, who was about to run in from the top of his bowling mark when English umpire Richard Kettleborough noticed an extra man on the field during the World Cup match at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium (PCA) at Mohali Thursday.
When Kettleborough was about to say "play," he found a TV cameraman on the square, focussing on a close-up of the non-striker, and quickly told the intruder to leave the field.
"I have been covering cricket for a long time and I have never seen a thing like this. It's strange and funny," remarked a South African scribe in the media box.
Fans revel in Bhangra music
The sparse crowd revelled in foot-tapping Bhangra music.
Most of the stands in the 27,000 capacity venue, were deserted, but the handful of fans, mostly students, made up for it. They danced and revelled on the popular Punjabi numbers belted out by the in-house DJ. The Bhangra boys, with their drums, kept the crowd on its feet after every boundary.
The organisers, however, were expecting a sizeable crowd for the first 2011 World Cup game here.
"We sold around 6,000 tickets and the rest were given to other agencies and the ICC. I don't know what they did with them. It is a non-India match, but we were expecting a decent crowd," PCA secretary G. S. Walia said.
VIP's give it a miss
The PCA Stadium always sees a heavy flow of VIPs during international matches, but they decided to give the first match of this World Cup here a miss.
"We have not received any information on the VIPs who are coming to watch the match," Walia revealed.(IANS)