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ICC World Cup: MS Dhoni tells fans to fill up MCG for Bangladesh tie

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has called on fans to come out in large numbers and fill up the Melbourne Cricket Ground for today's second World Cup quarter-final between the defending champions and Bangladesh.

A large contingent of Indian fans at the India vs South Africa World Cup match in Melbourne last month. Pic/Getty Images
A large contingent of Indian fans at the India vs South Africa World Cup match in Melbourne last month. Pic/Getty Images

The last time India played here was on February 22, against South Africa and the attendance was a whopping 86,876. This time too, the number should be close to a lakh given the massive Indian and Bangladeshi population in Australia.

"The crowds for this World Cup have been outstanding and very supportive, and we look forward to similar encouragement when for our quarter-final tomorrow. There are some excellent players on either side and I will encourage people to fill the MCG and enjoy what I think will be an excellent contest between the two subcontinental sides," Dhoni said.

Cricket in a 1611 French dictionary!
The two-floor Melbourne Cricket Ground library, established in 1853, has a vast and interesting collection of sports books — 100,000, besides archival footage and memorabilia. Among them are a neatly maintained complete set of Wisden Cricketers' Almanacks, besides an entire set of Lilywhite annuals which were pre-Wisden. However, an interesting and easily one of the oldest books in their collection, is the Cotgrave's French and English Dictionaire.

The Cotgrave's French and English Dictionaire published in 1611 at the MCG Library yesterday. Pic/Ashwin Ferro
The Cotgrave's French and English Dictionaire published in 1611 at the MCG Library yesterday. Pic/Ashwin Ferro  

The dictionary published way back in 1611 has one of the oldest published references to cricket. The word 'crosse' in the dictionary, refers to the staff or stick with which boys played cricket back then.

Takes 22 years to be an MCC member!
The Melbourne Cricket Club is easily one of the most prestigious cricket clubs in the world given the vast history and tradition associated with it besides obviously its picturesque cricket ground.

The venue boasts of various other features like indoor and outdoor community spaces, a museum, a library, restaurants and cafes that make it stand apart. It's no wonder then that getting a membership to this exclusive club is not an easy process. Akshay Deodhar (36), a Mumbai-born consultant with a global auditing here and die-hard cricket fan, recently found this out the hard way.

The process
"Firstly, one has to be nominated by at least two MCC members and that's not an easy task. But even if that is achieved, there is a waiting list that stretches across 22 years before a membership may or may not be granted. "I've gone ahead with the procedure any way, with the hope that if not me then at least my 20-month-old daughter will one day be an MCC member," he told mid-day.

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