Melbourne: The 86,876-strong crowd present at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday for India's World Cup match against South Africa was the largest crowd to watch an India World Cup cricket match out of the country and second-highest ever at the MCG, according to media reports here.
Indian supporters cheer for their team during the clash against South Africa in Melbourne on Sunday. Pic: AP/PTI
The number was only 306 people short of the gathering at the 1992 World Cup final (87,182) here between Pakistan and England. There are over one lakh Indians living in Melbourne alone, but nearly half the crowd was expected to have flown in from outside the city from places like Adelaide, Sydney and even from across international borders.
The Australian media yesterday lavished praise on Sunday's MCG attendance. The Australian newspaper called MCG a "heaving mass" referring to the up and down crowd reaction as the game progressed.
Another report in the same newspaper said that the crowd "cheered when there was everything to cheer. They cheered when there was nothing to cheer. And they cheered because everyone else was cheering."
The Herald Sun said "if MS Dhoni and his troops didn't feel the World Cup blockbuster against South Africa had been secretly shifted to Delhi, Mumbai or Kolkata, their opponents certainly could be excused if they did."
The report also made a very interesting prediction. It said: "If India makes it all the way to the final, the Melbourne Cricket Club might have to build another level of seating on the roof."