Wednesday, April 21, 2021
Home SPORTS India vs Australia: For 21 years, a banker and a businessman...

India vs Australia: For 21 years, a banker and a businessman have been to every India Test in Australia | Cricket News – Times of India


MELBOURNE: It was summer, 1999. A cricket match in Australia would usually be a sea of yellow. The Indian community in Australia was not large, but a small band of 15 wanted to paint the Adelaide stands blue for the India-Australia Test series. Raghav Bhatia was ‘I’ and Rakesh Jampala ‘D’ in the line of five to spell out ‘INDIA’ that day. India lost.
“But it was extraordinary. We knew we had to do it again,” said Rakesh, now 38.
They did. In the 21 years since, the two have attended every single Test India has played in Australia. And they were at Adelaide again on Thursday — their 24th Test.
“It’s wonderful to be back where it started,” said Raghav from the Adelaide Oval.
Rakesh is an investment banker in Sydney and Raghav, 34, runs his family business in Melbourne.
“Every tour costs us around $15,000 (AUD) now. We spend on the games and then celebrations later.”

It takes months of planning. Adelaide remains their favourite. “It’s also where Dravid hit his double hundred in 2003. History.”
That was the year the motley group caught the attention of an ABC reporter. “We were dubbed the Swami Army. We liked the name and ran with it,” Raghav said.
By now, Swami Army, an Indian cricket fan club, has 10,000 members. Sometimes things got rough. In 2008, both were kicked out of the ground. Rakesh was first: “It was Sydney. India lost after several contentious calls by Steve Buckner. I was getting agitated. Suddenly, security comes and escorts me off.”
In Adelaide, it was Raghav: “Stuart Clark was fielding near the boundary. I had a few things to say. He didn’t like it and got me kicked out.”
But an encounter in Melbourne made up for things.
“I was with a friend who knew (Anil) Kumble, and (MS) Dhoni was there. I asked for a photo. Dhoni said ‘yes’ and swung the camera at me.
“I said, ‘No, with you.’ And, yes, Sachin said he hardly gets to take his Ferrari for a spin, and only after 2 am when Mumbai streets are quieter.”



Source link

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

​Most stylish looks of Allu Arjun ​

Actor Allu Arjun has not only proved his acting chops but is also a trendsetter when it comes to style. Source link

Cold Brew Day: The Ultimate Guide to Make the Perfect Cold Brew At Home! – Times of India

It's cold brew day and what better day to understand the lesser known facts about it. Cold brew is often confused with cold...

Coronavirus vaccine in India: COVID vaccination for 18+ to open up, all you need to know about the vaccines available in India

Expecting some side effects post-vaccination is normal. The usual side-effects people report right now are mild, reactogenic ones, including pain at the injection...

Coronavirus treatment at home: Tips to treat COVID-19 at home and everything you should know

Most people who test positive for the virus suffer with either mild symptoms or are asymptomatic, which can be treated at home. The...

Recent Comments