Hindustan Times (Lucknow) - Live - - FRONT PAGE - Sharad Deep sharad.deep@htlive.com

Though Vi­rat Kohli and Ma­hen­dra Singh Dhoni won’t be in ac­tion in Luc­know’s T20 match be­tween In­dia and West Indies on Tues­day, au­di­ences are not go­ing to miss them.

Cour­tesy the com­pany that prints T-shirts for cricket fans across coun­try, the two swash­buck­ling bats­men will be present in the pav­il­ion vir­tu­ally on al­most ev­ery seat.

“We have got printed over 20,000 T-shirts car­ry­ing names of Kohli and Dhoni. Priced be­tween Rs 100 to Rs 150, these T-shirts would al­low the fans to show their af­fec­tion to two leg­ends of the Team In­dia even when standin cap­tain Ro­hit Sharma and opener Shikhar Dhawan are hit­ting bound­aries,” said a staff of the print­ing com­pany.

While Kohli has been rested for the three-match T20 se­ries, Dhoni hasn’t been con­sid­ered ‘suit­able’ for the short­est ver­sion of the game by the se­lec­tors.

Such T-shirts would be on sale by ven­dors on the match­day out­side the Ekana In­ter­na­tional Cricket Sta­dium.

“I love Kohli and even he isn’t here in the game, I will sport his T-shirt and show my love and af­fec­tion to him,” young fan Hu­maira Khan says.

“I watch cricket on TV only to see my favourite man Kohli in ac­tion and this would be for the first time when I would be watch­ing the Team In­dia in ac­tion be­fore my own eyes here in home city,” added Hu­maira, who bought two tick­ets worth Rs 1500 each.

While Hu­maira is Kohli fan, many oth­ers still love Dhoni.

“For last many years, I haven’t watched a T20 game with­out Dhoni and I have lost all my in­ter­est in the game since I came to know about Dhoni’s drop­ping for the T20 se­ries. But since the game is hap­pen­ing in my city and that too for the first time, I will watch the match while sport­ing MDS T-shirt,” an avid fan Vishal Tan­don said.


Fans will also have the op­por­tu­nity to get their faces painted with In­dian tri-color as a group of face pain­ters even from neigh­bor­ing cities, es­pe­cially Kanpur, have been in­vited for this pur­pose. “It’s a rou­tine in Kanpur, which owns the Only Test cen­tre in the state in the form of the Green Park Sta­dium, but here this is firstever in­ter­na­tional match,” said one Si­yaram, who too would be busy in paint­ing the faces at the fans en­trance at the sta­dium on the match-day.

“We have a team of around 50 peo­ple for this job as man­ag­ing such a huge crowd (ap­prox­i­mately 50,000) won’t be an easy job. Paint­ing a flag on your face will cost only Rs 25,” he said, adding, “If you want to paint your face fully that too in a de­signer man­ner, you will have to pay Rs 100,” he said.


How­ever, the match would be a money-mak­ing busi­ness or busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties for the small-small ven­dors of eat­a­bles near the sta­dium.

Though the road side dhaba, chai­walas, and paan walas have been cleared off in view of the traf­fic and se­cu­rity, the shops of eat­a­bles at the Sul­tan­pur road are ex­cited and look­ing for good money on the Di­wali eve.

“Samosa, khasta, sweets, pako­ries etc., would be made in a good quan­tity that day as crowd would be en­joy­ing the eat­a­bles be­fore and af­ter the match,” said one Du­larey of Ya­dav Sweets. “Even we have made ar­range­ments for packed biryani and ke­babs, paratha too for the fans on a sep­a­rate stall here.”


Vi­rat Kohli and MS Dhoni’s T­shirt be­ing sold in front of Ekana Sta­dium ahead of In­dia­West Indies T20 match.

Face paint­ing will be the or­der of the day on Tues­day.

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