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ICC World Cup: When Adelaide Oval went all out to woo fans

From giving away free ice cream and goodies to organising fun activities, venue makes cultural programme exciting for fans

The South Australian Tourism authorities left no stone unturned in making yesterday's cultural and entertainment programme at the Adelaide Oval exciting and rewarding for fans. Stalls lined up at the Oval gave away free ice creams and goodies to fans indulging in fun activities like throwing down stumps or simply catching a ball.

The Bollywood Fusion dance group performs at the Adelaide Oval yesterday. Pics/Ashwin Ferro
The Bollywood Fusion dance group performs at the Adelaide Oval yesterday. Pics/Ashwin Ferro 

Kids had a fun time too with face painting and chocolates doing the rounds for free. Local cultural groups from Adelaide then performed to some electric dance numbers that were well received too. "It's because of the cricket fan, that we all are here today. It's high time the fans got their due," said one of the SA Tourism officials. Maybe Indian cricket administrators could take a leaf out of here and reward fans back home in a similar fashion too.

From Nanded, with love
Among the varying colour and costumes at yesterday's entertainment programme at the Adelaide Oval, one elderly couple stood out for their distinct attire. eventy-one-year-old Tulsiram Biradar, dressed in white shirt-white pant and a Gandhi topi, and his wife Padminibai wearing the traditional Maharashtrian saree, had come to the event with their daughter-in-law Kalpana and grand-daughter Shriti (just three years old).

Nanded-based Tulsiram Biradar (in white) and wife Padminibai (right) with their daughter-in-law Kalpana and grand-daughter at the South Australian Tourism-organised cultural and entertainment programme at the Adelaide Oval
Nanded-based Tulsiram Biradar (in white) and wife Padminibai (right) with their daughter-in-law Kalpana and grand-daughter at the South Australian Tourism-organised cultural and entertainment programme at the Adelaide Oval 

The senior citizens are residents of Nanded in Maharashtra and are in Adelaide to visit family. "My wife and I have been in Australia for two months. Yesterday, my son told me that there is a cricket event at Adelaide Oval today, and I simply could not miss it. We all love our cricket," Tulsiram told mid-day yesterday.

The veteran however, like most Indian cricket fans today, remains unimpressed with the form of MS Dhoni's men going into Sunday's World Cup match against Pakistan. He summed up his mood with one Marathi line: "Aamche bowler changley nahi aahet (our bowlers aren't good enough)."

Here come Swami Army
Inspired by their British counterparts, the Swami Army, India's very own legion of noisy cricket fans, was formed on the Boxing Day Test three years ago and has been a hit both on the virtual as well as the real world. Yesterday, a group of Swami Armymen stormed the Adelaide Oval with some some loud chanting and flag-waving.

The Swami Army makes it presence felt at the Adelaide Oval yesterday
The Swami Army makes it presence felt at the Adelaide Oval yesterday 

Slogans of "Jeetega bhai jeetega, India jeetega, India jeetega" were quickly lapped up by the handful of Indian TV media crew. The Army's strength claims to be over 5000-plus and only growing with each Indian cricket victory.

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