Monday, July 15, 2013

A Chance Visit to the KSCA Cricket Stadium, Bangalore.

KSCA Stadium Entrance.
KSCA Cricket Stadium, also known as M. Chinnaswamy Stadium after India's prominent Cricket Administrator, is a powerful landmark in Bangalore. The stadium is in the center of the city, and very close to the inaugural campus of my Alma mater, University Visvesvaraya College of Engineering, K R Circle, Bangalore. (KSCA have their own web site).

Just about 3 weeks earlier, I had the opportunity to visit the Lord's in London. Who would have thought I'd get an opportunity to visit the KSCA Stadium a mere 3 weeks later?
The opportunity arose, thanks to a chance acquaintance I developed, of a fellow morning walker/exerciser at the Dhanvantari Park in J P Nagar, Bangalore. The chance acquaintance is Mr. S. Rama Swamy, a practicing Hypnotist in South Bangalore. Whenever I visit Bangalore, typically for a few weeks at a stretch, I make it a point to go for morning walks at the Park.
A. Paras Bafna (L), S. Rama Swamy (R),
at the Stadium. Vidhana Soudha
in the background.

On a couple of those morning walks, a few minutes of exchanges between Rama Swamy and myself brought out personal interests and passions, and I must have expressed my interest to visit the KSCA Stadium. Rama Swamy was enterprising enough to see a connection between himself and Mr. A. Paras Bafna, an institutional member of the KSCA Stadium, through a common friend. And, before I knew it, we were heading towards the KSCA Stadium a couple of afternoons later. Mr. Bafna's passion for cricket comes through in his enthusiastic recalling of many interesting stories, too numerous to mention here. But, one story involving legendary batsman Sachin Tendulkar, stands out in my mind: Lord Ganesha's outline created by using artistic rendition of Sachin's full name: Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar.

The stadium is said to have a capacity crowd of 45,000; it is believed that there is thinking to increase the capacity to 70,000. I got the impression that about 5-7 pitches are in some frequent use.
A View of the KSCA Stadium Cricket Ground from approximately the Pavilion End. (Pitches are covered by tarp).
Rama Swamy (L) and Paras Bafna (R) on the right of the photo.
The Rahul Dravid Wall.
At the entrance to the stadium, a wall — shown at left — celebrates the career accomplishments of a former India captain Rahul Dravid. Dravid is the third-highest run scorer in Test cricket, after Sachin Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting.

A Painting of B. S. Chandrasekhar
in a dining room in the pavilion.
And, in one of the dining areas in the pavilion, many paintings dot the wall. B. S. Chandrasekhar is featured quite prominently, as is seen in the photo on the right.

After giving us a detailed tour of the facilities for over an hour, even during the rain that enhanced our memorable experience, a surprise Mr. Bafna had in store for us was a chance to snack on dosa at the Club House. Dosa in Bangalore has a unique taste that you don't readily find elsewhere.

Having enjoyed visiting Lord's as well as the KSCA Cricket Stadium in Bangalore, I sincerely hope that the current KSCA Stadium administrators Anil Kumble and Javagal Srinath will work to create guided public tours of the stadium, somewhat on the lines of the Lord's Tours, particularly for the benefit of youngsters.

The inspiration derived by youngsters, as the result of such a tour, can be very powerful in molding their future.

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