Charged-up fans ignore power cut woes


Staff member
Chennai: Fans in Chennai have already started praying for India to beat Australia in the quarter-finals.

"I don't think without the prayers of the Indian fans, this team can beat Australia," one said.

Many believe only luck can help the Indians, and hence have taken a vow to visit places of worship between now and Thursday.

However, what is worrying this city more is the electricity drain that cricket has brought over the last month.

Chennai has long been battling electricity and water shortages. The Tamil Nadu Electricity Board says there has been an increase of 250 megawatts since the World Cup started.

Unfortunately, despite requests not to use too much, this city has refused to switch off.

The result could be a huge power cut over the coming days.

One of the reasons that led to huge consumption of electricity is the ruling party's decision to distribute colour TVs as an election pledge.

The consumption of electricity shoots up from 2.30pm and goes on way past midnight during all match days, and when India play the consumption reaches alarming levels.

People in this city are famous for their superstition.

Different members of the same family prefer different television sets to bring luck for India. A fellow journalist told me the story of a resident who always watches a match at full volume to ensure India's victory, forcing neigbours to call the police.

Happy man

N. Srinivasan, the president of the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association and secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, was a happy man at the end of the match.

The newly renovated Chepauk Stadium won praise from everywhere.

Amongst all the World Cup venues, the press box here is the largest, accommodate over 250 journalists. Unusually, here the box is at eye level with play, offering a fine view of the action.

Spectators sit in front of the box but even when they stand it doesn't block the view.