News Karnataka
Saturday, April 13 2024
Cricket
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Rohit Sharma fans forced to dump posters outside Wankhede Stadium

Rohit Sharma (1)
Photo Credit : PTI

During an IPL 2024 clash between Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals, several social media posts emerged on Monday claiming that fans of Rohit Sharma were barred from bringing his support posters into the Wankhede Stadium. A widely shared clip on X showed a supporter alleging that they were prevented from entering with signs rooting for Rohit Sharma, the ex-captain of Mumbai Indians, and were even told to discard them.

An official attributed the prohibition of banners and posters in the stadium to instructions from the election commission relayed by Mumbai police, as per a PTI report. This directive was specifically aimed at political signage, not fan posters. Nonetheless, this enforcement by the stadium authorities stemmed from a mix-up and incorrect interpretation of the guidelines, a news outlet disclosed.

Hardik Pandya, the current captain of Mumbai Indians, has been under intense scrutiny throughout the IPL season. During Monday night’s game, the Wankhede crowd expressed their discontent, interspersing boos with cheers for Rohit Sharma. The 29-year-old all-rounder, who succeeded Sharma as the team’s leader, has encountered similar disapproval from fans in prior matches in Ahmedabad and Hyderabad.

Pandya faced heckling from spectators while warming up on the field before the game and again when his name was announced during the toss. Despite the overwhelming support for Sharma in the stands, Pandya managed to smile through the situation.

The atmosphere grew tense when, amidst loud booing, toss presenter Sanjay Manjrekar had to intervene, urging the audience to show respect. The jeering didn’t stop as Pandya took the microphone following a toss loss to the Rajasthan Royals, led by Sanju Samson.

The persistent booing marked a challenging moment for Pandya, who encountered similar reactions when he came to bat with the team struggling early in the match.

Nish Navalkar, a member of the ‘North Stand Gang’ at Wankhede, commented on the situation, expressing optimism about Pandya’s future reception at the stadium. “The moment Hardik secures a victory for Mumbai Indians with a significant performance, he’ll be heralded as a hero at Wankhede! It won’t be long before the chants evolve to ‘Navratri maa Daandiya, Wankhede maa Pandya’,” he said, forecasting a change in the crowd’s sentiment.

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