Bangalore, Aug 25: A full house was expected for Banga Beats home debut against Krrish Delhi Smashers in the Indian Badminton League (IBL) at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium on Sunday. But after a smashing hit on the opening day - Saturday, it was not to be.
The tickets were sold out according to the organisers but there were still many seats vacant. One of the reasons could be the local team already being out of semi-finals contention. However, the rest of the Beats fan brigade (those sporting black T-shirts) whistled its way till the final game which ended close to 1 AM. But all those were not enough with the Beats beaten by the visitors 4-1.
Apart from the on-court action, there was controversy off it. Beats replaced Hu Yun with Jan O Jorgensen due to injury. However, this change at the last minute upset Smashers who at one point threatened to pull out of the tie.
The issue was settled with Beats deciding to field local player and former National champion Arvind Bhat for Jorgensen. Denmark's Jorgensen had arrived in Bangalore only on Sunday morning. He was not picked in the auction but was added to the squad as a replacement for injured player (Yun). The controversy delayed the match by nearly half hour.
Amid the controversy, former India cricket captain Rahul Dravid was seated in the VIP enclosure with his family to show support for the Beats and IBL. His presence did lift the fans up but not the Beats. As always the case, Dravid was in the spotlight.
Beats icon player P Kashyap gave them a good start but that was the lone victory. The Dravids applauded Kashyap's success over B Sai Praneeth.
Dravid is the fourth cricketer to turn up at a venue to watch IBL after Sachin Tendulkar, Ajit Agarkar and Syed Kirmani.
Meanwhile, the media had to face disappointment for the second day in succession at the venue. With poor viewing facilities given by the organisers, they were promised of moving the media seating to a better stand (behind the match court) but that did not happen.
Of the two days of weekend action in Bangalore, the opening act on Saturday was worth remembering more than the second episode.The third and final action of IBL 2013 in Bangalore will be unveiled on Thursday (August 29) in the form of second semi-finals without the hosts in it.
Will it emulate the first? Yes, if Saina Nehwal (Hyderabad Hotshots) arrives.