World Cup 2019: Ticket-less fans enjoy grand finale at Trafalgar Square
Despite India losing match at the semi finals, Indian fans joined the English to witness the epic grand finale at Trafalgar Square
London: The English love their cricket and beer. Maybe beer comes first and then cricket. Of course, when there is no football. There were thousands of fans enjoying World Cup final on the large TV screen in the Fan Zone at Trafalgar Square while the real battle was on at Lord's just a few miles away.
As is the tradition, those who did not get tickets preferred to enjoy the game at a public gathering rather than in their drawing rooms. The ambience was similar to the famous Henman Hill at Wimbledon where the fans gather to watch the tennis which is being played only a few metres away.
Those who were interested in watching the epic Wimbledon final had the option of going to Tower Bridge, where a Fan Zone was created for the tennis fans.
The morning had started rather gloomily as it rained early in the morning. But by 9 am it had abated for the match to start after a short delay of 15 minutes. By the time the game was on, the Fan Zone was overflowing with fans who occupied every available space and moved only to refill their beer mugs or get a quick bite.
Indians join the fun
Of course, there were quite a few Indian tourists, who joined the fun even though their team were not playing the final. Mahesh Danekar who has come with a family for a quick visit, said that had the Indian team made it to the final, they would have bought tickets at a premium. Of course, he thought he could get one at for £150. When told that tickets were not available for even £1000, he raised his hands in despair.
Mahesh Kumar from Delhi was a bit wiser. "I had already booked two tickets online, hoping that India would play the final. But the moment India lost to New Zealand, I sold it for £1000, which offset some of my cost of the one week tour. When I came to know that they had set up Fan Zone at Trafalgar Square, I decided to come here and watch the England v New Zealand final on the big screen. The atmosphere is really great. Despite huge crowds and so much beer flowing, it is great to see the people enjoying the game without being a nuisance."
What's all the fuss about?
Of course, there were quite a few Chinese, Japanese and American tourists who came into the Fan Zone and wondered what all the fuss was about. They just could not fathom what was going on the screen and why the fans were cheering every now and then.
American tourist Daniel Matthew from Illinois said that he was aware of the game of cricket, which he said was similar to baseball. But when he saw it on the big screen, he was just baffled with the way it was played. He said he would rather continue going around Central London than try to understand the intricacies of the game. A few of the tourists were irritated that Trafalgar Square had been cordoned off and they could not click photos with Nelson's Column, the two fountains or the magnificent National Gallery. When they were told that the game was only for today, they said they would try to visit it on Monday.
Inside the Fan Zone there was a lot of activity for children, who could earn a cap or a bat if they could catch the ball five times or answer a cricket quiz correctly. There was also place for budding young cricketers to try their luck in the nets with plastic balls and bats. Of course, there was unending music, beer, and food till the cricket lovers finally dispersed at the end of the day.
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