Jay Jay Gharavi Gujarat [victory to proud Gujarat], the DJ urged the excitedly prepared fans to shout during the IPL Championship 2 qualification match at Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Friday. It is the name of the poem Narmadashankar Dave – considered the founder of modern Gujarati literature – which he wrote in 1873, and it is now the state anthem. Referring to him during an IPL game at all, and not including the new home team for that, is an insight into what is often called Gujarati asmita (pride). It may not be as assertive as Tamil or Bengali identity, for example, but there is a distinct undercurrent of the collective cultural and linguistic ethos in far western India.
When Imtiaz Ahmedabad was looking for a name for himself, he had to choose between choosing between which city it would be based, or the state in which its mother city was located. Market research was done and in the end, Gujarat Titans chose a name that would resonate with all the people of Gujarat, not just Amdavadis.
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The team will play their first home game in front of more than 100,000 people on Sunday evening – the grand final against Rajasthan Royals. But having entered the title fray under an inspirational captain for the first time in Gujarati, they are already beginning to win the hearts of local fans, who have been hungry for a team rooting for their first 14 long years in the league. Presence.
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Their team wasn’t playing until Friday, but you could see many fans in Gujarat Titans jerseys, as if they were preparing for the big tournament on Sunday night.
– Gujarat Titans (@gujarat_titans) May 2, 2022
It was an endearing fact not lost on Dr. Parag Sheth, a local sports enthusiast who grew up seeing the days off when Ahmedabad was going to play a major singles cricket match amid a general absence of action. “Naturally. We made it to the final and we support the Gujarat Titans,” Sheth said. “Many players from Gujarat have played in IPL – brothers Pandya and Pathan, Jasprit, Axar, Jadeja, Pujara – and it is good to have an IPL team from the state at the end.
“Ahmadabad has been left out all these years, but the Gujarat Titans reached the final in their first season,” Sheth said. “It proved our concern about why there was no IPL team in Gujarat or Ahmedabad all these years. We would have had very few matches earlier but at the moment it is like a carnival.”
You can sense the thirst for fans to even peek at the players in the colorful league; On Friday evening, an unfamiliar young player like Yashsvi Jaiswal was cheered so loudly as he ran warm-up laps that it felt like Virat Kohli had been spotted.
The best way to answer is not to answer … and agree with the captain! 🙌
– Gujarat Titans (@gujarat_titans) May 28, 2022
The 2022 season has largely been played in Mumbai amid epidemic-enforced biological bubbles, but when the league returns to the usual home-and-away format, Ahmedabad will host at least seven, if not nine, matches in a few matches. months.
Priyank Panchal, a veteran Gujarat batsman and captain who has been around the India national team for a while now, knows how much that will mean to the fans in the city he has spent his whole life in.
“People here are really excited,” Panchal told The Indian Express. “The fans will interact with each other and watch the players. And the size of the stadium will allow a lot of people to come and watch and get inspired. We are talking about real fans and die-hard fans, and it is very important for these fans to have that kind of experience. They make this game more interesting. This is part I think because of this bigger stadium, it will play a bigger role. And more importantly, the kids who are going to go to watch will come back feeling that we can also play this game, and we also have a chance now, that it is possible to play cricket as a profession. Fans are the most important thing after all” .
Mumbai, Kolkata, Ahmedabad
– Gujarat Titans (@gujarat_titans) 26 May 2022
As it did in the rest of the country, cricket spread from traditional centers like Mumbai and Delhi, and made its way throughout Gujarat as well. The state, with its three first-class teams, Baroda, Gujarat and Saurashtra, has started to produce more players for the national team. Parthiv Patel, a former Indian wikkie hitter, had earlier mentioned how he had to travel to Mumbai to get to know more and better, as there was none in Gujarat.
“Growing up, we used to analyze Mumbai cricketers, that we would try to play like them and so on,” said Partiv. “It was not because Mumbai was the only center in the country, but it was the closest to us, so we used to come there a lot and play cricket so we could learn a lot. The facilities were good there.
“Now you see that the facilities have improved all over Gujarat, not only in Ahmedabad which has a big stadium, but even in the districts there are proper facilities where you can play top class matches and conduct NCA (National Cricket Academy) camps. With the advent of infrastructure Players come, too.”
Partiv was convinced that the establishment of the IPL franchise base in Ahmedabad would inject new momentum into the local cricket group. “There is no doubt that the children will feel inspired when the international stars play in front of them, perhaps enough inspiration to take part in the game at the age of 7-10,” said Partiv. “Even if you can watch the top players in training, it teaches you a lot. The local bowlers who go to play in the net will pick things up. There are also plenty of opportunities to interact with top-level coaches.”
As far as Sunday night is concerned, there is only one team that will be rooted for the largest cricket ground in the world, and Hardyk’s jerseys will be showing their numbers. “There is such a desire to win, being a team from Gujarat, the final is in Gujarat, he wants to take that there,” former India coach Ravi Shastri said of Hardik Pandya on Star Sports.
As the Gujarat Titans motto says, aava de (bring it). Garavi Gujarat can’t wait.