Brabourne diary: IPL's 500th match, but where's the buzz?

IPL organisers could have capatalised on the T20 event’s 500th match at the Brabourne Stadium yesterday, but that was certainly not the case. Firstly, the empty seats were a huge dampener. After all, it is rare to see seats lying vacant during an IPL match. The organisers also wasted an opportunity to make the occasion momentous for those at the venue. There was anticipation over the milestone match especially after it was discussed during the last IPL Governing Council meeting in New Delhi on April 20. All that was done was a short audio-visual on the big screen which was a flashback of all seven IPL editions. 

A cloudy sky greets the players and support staff of Rajasthan Royals and Delhi Daredevils prior to their Indian Premier League-8 game at the Brabourne Stadium in Churchgate, Mumbai yesterday. The Cricket Club of India will host two more games -- Rajasthan Royals vs Sunrisers Hyderabad on May 7 and Kolkata Knight Riders will face Rajasthan Royals on May 16. Pic/Suresh KK

Catch contest: After NZ, it’s RR
Taking cue from the ‘one-handed’ catch contest in New Zealand during the World Cup, Rajasthan Royals introduced a similar contest for the fans during their first IPL-8 home match at Brabourne.

A few hours before kick-off, RR’s official handle sent out a tweet about the contest. The spectators wearing the ‘official Rajasthan Royals 2015 jersey’ stood a chance to win R1 lakh if they manage to take a catch in the stands, not necessarily one-handed.

Home match for RR or MI?
The atmosphere outside Brabourne Stadium gave one the impression that it was Mumbai Indians’ home match and not Rajasthan Royals’. Apart from Delhi Daredevils flags and jerseys, the blue ‘Malinga wig’, Mumbai Indians horn, jerseys and flags were sold by the hawkers outside the venue. Some were also seen selling other Mumbai Indians merchandise.

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