Karachi Match Crowd Report

16-12-06_1812.jpg When it comes to cricket, I like many others feel that the best place to watch a good match is to head on over to the stadium and watch it live amongst the crowd, granted you don’t get the luxury of an instant replay but the experience is an altogether far better then sitting on a couch and watching it alone. I did happen to go to watch the Pakistan vs West Indies 5th and final one-day of the Bank Alfalah series, which Pakistan comfortably won and I term it an easy win since the West Indians could not muster a decent fighting total, I will not bore you about the match which you must have already seen and read about at length but I will write about the glittering Karachi crowd which turned up to watch the match.

Probably the must-go-to enclosure for all of Karachi is the Hanif Muhammad Enclosure located just to the right of the pavilion, after many years of going to almost every match ever held I feel that this is the best enclosure probably second only to the seating available above the bowlers arm on the University Road end in the general stand above the sight screen. The Hanif Muhammed enclosure is a little safer in case the emotions boil over into a full fledged riot which Karachi has been a witness to many, the second most important point is that in this stand you are also free from any direct contact with the hot Karachi sun.

The steep cost of the ticket for this VIP stand at Rs. 1500 generally keeps the affluent to buy this choice location and remain a hot sell even to the last day, apart from the freeloaders that sneak in throughout the day on one pretext or the other and become a part of the festivities. For an avid cricket fan seat location is prime and for the sake of the ideal location I arrived an hour before to comfortably place our group at our preferred location, at that time you see the the actual die-hards who are willing to wake up early to brave the lines and make it to the stadium there are no riff-raffs and the ladies of the house tend to take their time to show up.

Eng_121606_003.jpg Majority of the ladies (apologies to true fans) come to enjoy the crowd, basically to see who IS there and who is NOT there as a cricket match becomes a part of the Karachi social calender. Fashion is the hall mark of Karachi and no effort is spared even if it comes to dressing for the cricket match where the ladies generally are seen to be arriving dressed to kill with matching accessories, full make-up often seen to include a blow-dry. For us guys its sports and entertainment hand-in-hand. (FYI- for all those who wanted to see pics of some good looking ladies, sorry I was not willing to stick my neck out for you as an attempt to take a picture would have most likely landed me with a black eye and a broken camera, so enjoy the crowd pictures for the time being – lol )

A number of improvements have made the experience to the National Stadium a lot more exciting through the years, where we have seen the installation of flood lights, a digital screen (from the stone ages) and very recently a loud music system to get the crowd the into a dancing frenzy with each celebration on the field of play. Karachi has over the years enjoys playing with the thumping beat of plastic bottles on the stadium chairs, it generally takes a little while before the ammunition is acquired especially after the coke & mineral water bottles have emptied their contents into the thirsty occupants The long tradition of banging those plastic PET bottles on chairs also gets the crowd into unison, but for the banging to take its full force takes a good 2-3 hours as the coke & mineral water bottles start getting empty.

The thumping starts at one end of the stand and very soon just becomes a deafening roar of whacking bottles, all in the spirit of fun and play, a few skirmishes do generally take place around the stand amongst a few heated gentlemen who are soon separated but not without the war cry “Maro Maro” Fight fight.

No wonder with all the action going around it is no wonder that the live match is far better then watching it at home, sadly this match was an easy win for Pakistan, had it been a nail clincher it would have been 7th heaven for a any cricket fan to then boldly claim “I was there”.

12 Comments so far

  1. ash (unregistered) on December 19th, 2006 @ 4:17 am

    Sounds wild. Sad i missed it. Good judgement on not taking any poondi shots.

  2. Sufi (unregistered) on December 19th, 2006 @ 6:28 am

    No poondi no fun. :(

  3. Captain's Log (unregistered) on December 19th, 2006 @ 8:07 am

    1500 Rs. is too much. If I were in Khi, I would have definitely gone but in 100 Rs Stand which used to be 25 Rs few years ago. Yeah I know I am cheap :-).

  4. Sufi (unregistered) on December 19th, 2006 @ 9:51 am

    Captain, 100 walay ka bhi apna maza hai :)

  5. Kumail (unregistered) on December 19th, 2006 @ 9:52 am

    Its quite an experience – I used to go watch every single match myself when I was still there and your mention of the plastic bottle percussion orchestra suddenly had the sounds going through my head, it truly is a great feeling.
    Is there any way to check if Karachi also holds the record for most mexican waves in a cricket game. I remeber that some people suggested that the record was made during the Pakistan-England game which was the first international day night ODI at Karachi.

  6. ash (unregistered) on December 19th, 2006 @ 10:26 am

    Sufi has a point – teeth were there any beautiful guys at the game? :)

  7. Sufi (unregistered) on December 19th, 2006 @ 10:56 am

    beauty is a relative term.

  8. Shahzad (unregistered) on December 19th, 2006 @ 11:00 am

    this whole pak-WI series was pretty boring .
    1500 Rs waste ho gaye apkay :)

  9. turab (unregistered) on December 19th, 2006 @ 11:30 am

    poondi is a must for every guy…

    i mentioned in the earlier posts how great it was to see the most awesome cricket crowd in the world at its best!! karachi has far more beauty queens than lahore’s spectators…….. its a compliment

  10. Sufi (unregistered) on December 19th, 2006 @ 11:45 am

    Turab, please dont compare grapes with strawberries. They are both great.

  11. Nomi (unregistered) on December 19th, 2006 @ 2:10 pm

    Any description of a cricket match in Karachi cannot be complete without mentioning the chorus of “TULLAY…TULLAY” which often erupts whenever a cop manhandles or tries to manhandle one of the spectators.

  12. madiha (unregistered) on December 20th, 2006 @ 6:06 am

    wow….u had to be the most luckiest guy out there i wish i would have been there with u and enjoyed the game first hand but sad i was the one watching it from my couch but nonetheless i enjoyed the game very much…and to put the cherry on top we won it in KARACHI i wish i was actually their…and good thinkin on not to take pics of the ladies it would have been very painfull for u….i guess wen i get down to karachi i would love to see the stadium first hand…

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