Nagpur, March 12 : It was the big match day here Saturday and all vehicles from the city seemed heading towards the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium at Jamtha where India locked horns with South Africa in a World Cup Group B game.
The atmosphere outside the state-of-art stadium was electric with an air of expectancy and all those who managed to get tickets thinking that they would be part of an evening to cherish.
The new stadium is 20km from Nagpur, but the buzz can be felt right from the daybreak in the Orange city with everyone animatedly discussing India's chances.
There was a festive feeling all round with fluttering flags, festoons on way to the stadium. Sounds of trumpets, vuvuzelas filled the air rhyming with chants of 'India India'.
Like in Bangalore, the police had to use force to disperse the crowd that had gathered when the tickets went on sale here Tuesday.
Amar Rathod and his friend, who came all the way from Bilaspur, were lucky to secure the tickets in that melee.
"I had planned it long ago. My cousin stays here and I told him that he should get the tickets, come what may. Braving lathis, he somehow managed two tickets. We were keen on watching the match because we have never seen the Indian team in action and we are excited," says Rathod, sporting a T-shirt with the legend Mahendra Singh Dhoni scribbled on it and a tricolour daubed on his cheeks.
Smart ones like Rakesh Samarth had decided to sell the official ICC merchandise inside the stadium that will give them a chance to see the match as well.
"It is difficult to get a match ticket. So my friend and I came here and asked if we can be of any help. They asked us to sell the official merchandise. We will be free after the first innings and then we can watch the match," said the engineering student.
The vendors, who are selling the Team India merchandise, from T-shirts, headgear to armbands, know that it is business with pleasure for them.
"The sales have been brisk today. The other matches here did not have so many spectators. Today is a full house and everyone wants to enjoy," says a beaming Sagar Kulkarni.
Nagpur being centrally located, cricket fans from all over the country converge here and the hotels are heavily booked. So much so that there are no rooms for visitors or those making business trips. The scribes here to cover the match are forced to share rooms.(IANS)