The 'Journey' Back Home
Royal Challengers Bangalore try to come to grips with the results of IPL 2011.
Every RCB fan wants a perfect finish. Unfortunately, there was another ‘missed’ opportunity on Saturday night, 28th May, this time against the Chennai Super Kings in the final. Disappointment.
Gradually however, reality sinks in that the team has lived up to fan’s expectations, so what if they had a ‘bad day at the office.’ Reaching the finals of a tournament is an achievement.
The lads trooped back into the team hotel late after the evening’s extended presentations at the Chidambaram stadium. They wore a disappointed look. Until the result of the match, there were many possibilities. If the turnout had been good, all overseas players would have made an effort to head to Bengaluru first with the team. Nobody had been prepared to discuss travel plans for the last 24 hours, some out of their practical nature and others out of superstition.
This time, the players only gave a customary wave to the Royal Challengers Bangalore supporters at the team hotel. Earlier even in league match defeats, they had been able to get over the melancholy mood faster; after all there were still chances to come. But not this time.
After getting past the lobby where many fans had thronged to catch a glimpse of their stars, the bodyguards accompanying the cricketers heaved a sigh of relief. Here, the players stopped for a few minutes to exchange pleasantries and goodbyes until the next season, well, the Champions League. Some of the South African players who had not played the match arrived at the hotel in private vehicles before the team bus. Having already packed, they were able to leave for the airport at 1:00 am.
A journey, well, something to take their mind off things, would be good for them instead of the brooding times in the hotel; It’s only natural that the players would take a day or two to get over the unsuccessful final. Surely, it shows their passion for excellence.
The logistics personnel were in the action straightaway, calling up their agents to book the players onto the respective preferred flights and within their available options. There seemed to be one flight at 5:30 am for Bengaluru and mostly the lads from Karnataka would be going there, others heading off either to Delhi or Mumbai where their families lived or of course South Africa, Australia and West Indies in the case of the overseas players.
A question mark hung over whether there were seats available on the 5:30 flight while the other option was an afternoon 3:30. The Karnataka RCB players were prepared to stay up chatting to bide time if they were likely to make it to the 5:30 am flight. Yet another option presented itself. The team bus would leave with baggage at anywhere between 8:00 am and 10:00 pm. The players were immediately offered this option which practically was very good – It would be a five hour journey while the total transit time for a flight would be four hours, what with advance reporting and at least an hour’s journey from the Bengaluru airport to the main city. Definitely, the former was a good option considering that one didn’t have to go through security clearances and change vehicles many times. However, there not many were takers initially, considering the departure time was not fixed but the end result may have been very different!
RCB fans must note that the players were heard saying “See you at the Champions League.” Time is a great healer. But what’s this about healing? We’ve done well at IPL 2011.