The Ticket Conspiracy :
When we reached the stadium, our first job obviously was to buy tickets. We searched for the ticket counter but when we asked for second day's ticket, what we had to hear was that we have to buy complete five day's tickets(although one day was already over). People there were highly frustrated by this policy of Vidarbha Cricket Association(VCA) as many of the fans there came for one day only. They were there for Dada only and had travelled a lot. There was some local news channel(UCN News i guess) which was taking interviews of all such fans. We thought of cursing the VCA a bit but then when we saw the news channel's name, we changed our decision and then headed to buy the tickets. We had to buy the tickets for all five days although later on we came to know that we could sell our tickets for the rest of days to the people who 'll come the next day and for the deal, as usual we had the dalals there.
Poor Security System at new VCA Stadium:
After buying the tickets, we headed towards the stadium buying an Indian Tricolor on the way. We had a bag full of blank posters, markers, our digicam and other similar stuff.. When we entered the first gate(Gate No. 3), a lady police told me that we could not bring the plastic rod of the flag with us in the stadium because of security reasons. I took the flag and dropped the rod there itself, then they asked me to switch off and switch on my mobile phone there. I did that too. But then they asked us not to carry the bag with us and now it was a bit frustrating for us. We ignored what they said and kept on going. They did not even bother to check what is in the bag. They did not even check if there is anything our pockets or not. I could not find a single metal detector with the security people. Anyways, we crossed Gate 3 and we had to cross the final entrance to the stadium, Gate for the F-1(West Wing). We thought that there will definitely be some checking on that gate but again the policeman asked me to switch off the mobile phone and then switch it on. I asked him why all this switching off and on business and he replied that it is because these days terrorists are using mobile phone triggered bombs. I don't know what would have happened had I been a terrorist carrying the mobile phone triggered bomb. This was for the first time I entered a public place without being checked by some metal detecting device.
The Match :
Finally we entered the stadium. The match was about to begin in ten minutes of time. RP Singh was trying his hands on batting, probably was making strokes in someone's bat. Then suddenly an almost empty stadium started echoing with the claps of very few specators as Billy Bowden and Aleem Dar entered the ground followed by the Aussies. Then entered the one for whom we were there, Our Prince of Kolkata with his new captain Dhoni. One could easily hear the chants of "Dada ... Dada" from different sections of crowd. The day started with one brilliant shot from Dada for which he got 3 runs on a slow outfield of new VCA ground. Although there was not much of a crowd but whoever was there, was cheering for Dada. Dhoni too was on the crease and at the beginning of the day was scoring runs at a better pace than Dada but still the cheers were reserved for Dada only with few rooting for Dhoni in between.
The SIX :
When Dhoni was scoring some quick runs, Dada slowly and steadily moved into 40s. Krejza started his over and suddenly on the very first ball, we got to see something for which we were there. Dada stepped out of the crease, gave ball a bang and lofted it over the bowler. Billy danced his hands up and up in the air to signal it a six and we all went crazy. Dada was proving his mettle yet again but this time for nothing, may be for himself and for his fans.
The Drinks and the Half Century :
After the vintage six, Sourav took a double and single on the next two balls and moved to 49, one short of the half century. Then we had to wait for drinks break to get over before we could see him complete his 35th test 50. Munaf carried the drinks for Dada and Dhoni whereas a Foster bottle shaped drink van with few girls carried the drinks for the fielding team. We were looking at the Indians all the time. Dada and Dhoni moved away from the pitch and in the throbbing heat both took the shade. Dhoni sat there while Dada drank orange colored juice. Then Munaf called one of the foster girls there; she chatted with munaf for a while and then with Dhoni. I asked Piyush to take the pic of Dhoni with the girl but suddenly the girl turned to Dada and the pic got clicked.
Soon after the drinks end, amidst the chants of "Dada... Dada", the 50 for Sourav came up with a glorious shot.
Me on TV :
When Dada was on 49, we had a cameraman focusing on the crowd of our stands. As soon as Dada reached his 50, we all went crazy, started dancing, waving the tricolor, and cheering Dada for his fifty. On the next delivery, Dada showed the ball the way to the boundary which energized us even more. When I was jumping and shouting for Dada, one of my juniors called me up and said "Tomar aap abhi TV par dikhe". I told this to everyone who was standing there with me and then we started shouting towards the cameraman for more footage of us.
Don't know if that was intentional or instantaneous but once Dada was on strike and we the fans on F-Stand were chanting "Dada ... Dada" like anything. Dada looked towards our stand and on the very next ball he swept the ball for a four towards the boundary near us. I'd like to remember it as an intentional shot from Dada for his fans
RP Singh's Middle Finger :
During the lunch, RP continued his batting practice which he was doing at the beginning of the day. Robin Singh was bowling to him. It was a casual practice with Robin Singh throwing balls at RP and RP giving a gentle push to them. We were getting bored as there was nothing much to do during lunch session. So we started shouting at RP, "batting se kya hoga? ... bowling seekh" and we kept on irritating him with similar comments. One of his shots came towards us, he came to the fence to pick the ball, smiled and then showed his middle fingers to us with both hands. We started shouting "Once More... Once More". So he repeated it again.
Dada again was looking solid in the series and this time more aggressive. He was all set to score a century in his final test, similarly the way he hit in his debut test.
But all the hopes came to an end when Clarke took a brilliant catch of Dada off Kreza. Dada fell 15 runs short of his century. A narrow miss to a finish that could've been a perfect one. Dad a moved back to the pavilion. But suddenly before stepping out of the ground, he stopped, turned back and watched the TV replay again. He knew that he was out but he did not want to leave the ground. Full of pain of missing a great opportunity, Dada did not forget to raise bat for his fans who were giving a standing ovation for the brilliant knock he played in his last test.
Whenever Bhajji was hitting a boundary, VCA people played the song "Singh is Kinng" on loud speakers
Mishra Ji Bowling karao
Amit Mishra seemed to be a completely confused man, a new comer indeed. Dhoni sent him to field near our stand and we started shouting his name. Many times he looked at us and we rotated our arms asking him to go and bowl and in reply he also showed us hand as if saying "abhi karaunga". This happened many times and once when he was interacting with us, Dhoni was shouting at him to change his position a bit. After that, every time he came near the stands, we shouted "Mishra Ji Dhoni Bula raha hai".
Sms your message to the given number and that message will appear on the giant screen, VCA had this system for the fans sitting out there in stadium. More than 90% of the messages which flashed on the giant screen were for Dada and he too was not disappointing his fans. He kept looking at the screen for the messages. There was a message for Dada from someone from the East wing stand and it said "Dada please look at the East Wing once". Dada read the message and then turned to the east wing and waved his hand towards the fans over there.
One message was "Billy, We love You". But Billy did not notice it and then Dada called him and pointed towards the giant screen to read the message. There were lots of messages from the guy carrying the banner of Dada representing the Orkut fans of Dada, Ankit. The messages were appearing by the name "Bannerboy Ankit". One of the Message was "Dada, You will always remain my GOD"
Dada and Katich's Bat
The crowd wasn't making much noise when India was fielding but whenever Dada stopped any ball or just picked it up from the ground, everytime everyone present there in the stadium clapped for him. By the clap sounds only, you can easily guess that Dada has fielded the ball.
The Nagpurian Schoolboy
The last 15 minutes, When Dada responded to my poster :
We had a great time when Dada was batting but the frustration built on when Dada kept fielding at the fence(R-East Wing) that was diametrically opposite to our stands(F-East Wing). Ishant Sharma was fielding at our end and we were repeatedly shouting at him asking him to go there and to ask Sourav to field at our end. But as expected, all went in vain. Last 20 minutes of game were left and I really wanted to have a close look at Dada. I asked Piyush if we can reach the R-East Wing somehow and he said "Let's Try". We packed our bag from there, with a poster in our hands, moved out to the stadium and reached the Gate to the R stand. Thanks to the poor security system of VCA Stadium, nobody stopped us in doing so. Only the one who was checking the tickets at the entry asked us for the ticket. We requested him to let us in there in the R wing as dada was there and he agreed to it. We entered the R-stand which was almost empty with only 15-20 people there. I straightaway reached the fence with a poster in my hand saying "Thanks Dada for this TEAM INDIA".
Dada was turning back towards the boundary when I started waving the poster asking Sourav to read it. Dada did not disappoint me as he read the poster first and then gave a look at me, bowed his head a bit giving a welcome gesture for the thanks in the banner. At first, I could not believe what went on there but then someone from the back said "Dada ne tumhara poster padha" and another guy standing at some distance from me on my right asked me to show him what was written on the poster. I was jumping like a kid who gets a chocolate from his father. That was one of the best moments of my life.
We clicked a few pictures of Dada from there and then the battery of our camera got discharged. We asked Dada to go for the bowling and were reminding him of Toronto where he took 5 wickets but that turned out to be the last over of the day and with that it was Stumps for the day.
As a memory of Dada's last test, I have kept the tricolor I used during match, the gate pass to the stadium and the poster to which Dada responded, with me.
for the pics, you can go to