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Mumbai Diary: Will Mumbaikars turn up to cheer (1/30/2013)
--s2h team
Mumbai Diary: Will mumbaikars still turn up to cheer their Magicians

Situated right next to the historic Wankhede Cricket Stadium, Mahindra Stadium boasts of a newly-laid astro-turf and promise some thrilling action back. undefined

And it was thrilling. The initial four matches of HHIL saw a similar score-line of 2-1, but the two matches played in Mumbai gave us a treat of 16 goals!! What more to expect?

We don’t know what is in store today as winless Mumbai takes on some-what-improving Punjab Warriors, again Ric Vs his former team mater Dancer battle.

People scared this writer about the hot-n-humid weather of Mumbai, but Oh my God! It was pleasant enough for me to fall in love with this city.

The hockey stadium hardly any distance away from the Arabian sea, and the cool breeze in the night made the game wonderful for both the players and the spectators, and not the forget, us!!

The pitch was lush-green, ball rolled on it at a faster pace than anywhere else. An insider told s2h that this pitch was sponsored by the Mumbai Cricket Association as the later wanted some space from the hockey ground for its flood-lights. And then give-and-take happened.

The sad part is the pavilions.

Authorities told us that the stadium has a capacity of 7 to 8k. but stands were not even half of its capacity in the first phase, not a good percentage indeed. We don't know what is in store today, least hopeful as their team did not give any hope for them to cheer about. Losing all matches is not a good augury. But mumbaikar's sportsman spirit will be put into test today, how much hope they will have still have with Magicians.

It was sad because the World Series Hockey matches saw a full house in every match. May be Glenn Turner or Jamie Dwyer are still not the stars for the Indian public. But some birds who know everything whisper that the local association and the franchisee owner, Dabur Group had a very laid-back attitude. “They didn’t market”, is their refrain.

We got to know that during WSH matches, commuters of the local train (which passes from very close to the stadium) used to get down to watch the hockey match! But after watching the local team’s performance, I am sure many spectators would have boarded the next train!!

Dabur Mumbai Magicians conceded total 10 goals in the first two home matches, and a few spectators were heard shouting “Give them (the players) some Dabur Chayavanprash!!” Day-2 also saw ‘Komal Chautala’ and ‘Balbir Kaur’ of ‘Chak de India’ in the VIP stands, but even they could not boost the team’s morale.

Or is that they distracted they Mumbai players?

Another thing that disappointed us, the hard-working journalists, was the hospitality. It was not bad, but wasn’t as good as in Delhi or Ranchi. Stuff was quietly prepared and served to the team-owners and their minnows!

Anyhow, we filled our bellies with the vada-pav available readily in the city and consoled ourselves that we had seen some mouth-watering hockey, so what if the stadium didn’t have some snacks in the stadium!!

Let us see what happens today on and off the field, as hockey returns to hockey’s own city.

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