For the young cricketers from IES VN Sule Guruji (Dadar) and Al-Barkaat MMI (Kurla) contesting the final of the Mumbai Schools Sports Association (MSSA)-Mumbai Indians (MI) Giles Shield Elite Division here is nothing short of a dream come true.
“Playing on an international venue is a special feeling. I will cherish this memory all my life. I just hope and pray that I get to play here more often,” said Al-Barkaat’s Pushkar Vashisth, who scored 82 today said as his side, resuming on an overnight score of 329-3, declared their first innings at 444-8. At close of play on Day Two of the four-day finale, Sule Guruji were 59-1 off 25 overs.
Sule Guruji skipper Dhruva Vedak, who scalped four Al-Barkaat wickets for 132 runs, has been here before. “I have played here last year too, but each time I come here, it feels nice. It’s not like Shivaji Park, Azad Maidan or Cross Maidan, where a number of matches are played simultaneously and one has to watch out for the odd ball that may hit you from a neighbouring match,” said Dhruva.
For someone like Hamza Siddique of Al-Barkaat, who has never been to a stadium before, the occasion is extra-special. “When sir (Nafees Khan) told us that we will be playing the Giles final here, I was overjoyed. Before this, I had only seen a stadium on TV. Knowing that this venue has hosted so many international matches, makes it even more exciting to be here,” said the Vikhroli resident.