Wait ends for CSK su­per fan

Hindustan Times (Gurgaon) - - Ht Sportsmax - sports­desk@hin­dus­tant­times.com

CHEN­NAI: For two years, Sar­a­vanan Hari was a fan with­out a team. You re­mem­ber him, don’t you? He is that cricket nut in yel­low body paint with ‘CSK’ and ‘Dhoni’ in­scribed all over his body, a per­ma­nent fea­ture at the MA Chi­dambaram Sta­dium stands when Chen­nai Su­per Kings used to play the IPL.

For the last two edi­tions though, the 31-year-old hasn’t had the chance to see his team from close after it was banned from the IPL for two years. “Chen­nai Su­per Kings is not just a team, it’s fam­ily. It was very dif­fi­cult to spend two years not watch­ing them play here. For two years, the IPL was bor­ing,” said Sar­a­vanan, his voice al­most chok­ing after meet­ing his ‘thala’ MS Dhoni on way to prac­tice. Sar­a­vanan said he sup­ported Ris­ing Pune Su­per­giants and Gu­jarat Lions over the last two years.

Lo­gis­tics man­ager at a pri­vate firm, Sar­a­vanan said he en­joys the priv­i­lege of be­ing on paid leave when CSK play in Chen­nai. “My boss al­ways en­sures that,” he said. He started watch­ing ev­ery match since 2009 and by the next few years, Sar­a­vanan came to be known as the Su­per Fan who al­most be­came the team mas­cot.

It isn’t easy though be­ing the mas­cot. “It takes me three hours to paint my­self. Re­mov­ing it takes an hour and 45 min­utes.”

The thought of be­ing able to go through that rou­tine from next year makes Sar­a­vanan emo­tional and ex­cited. The next IPL is around seven months away but for Sar­a­vanan the wait ended when Dhoni posted a pic­ture on In­sta­gram of him wear­ing a yel­low shirt with the name ‘Thala’ in­scribed on its back.

HT PHOTO

Sar­a­vanan Hari.

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