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They take centre stage off the field too

Staff Reporter

To catch a glimpse of cricket heroes, college students skip their schedule

Photo: PTI

Fan frenzy: Crowd outside a shop during Indian cricketers’ visit in Bhubaneswar on Tuesday. —

BHUBANESWAR: Cricket mania gripped the Capital city on Tuesday when hundreds of youngsters, especially girls, jostled for space to catch a glance of their favourite cricketers as five members of the Indian cricket team inaugurated a new shoe showroom here on Tuesday.

It was about 10.30 a.m. when college classrooms were supposed to be full of students. The scene was different in Rama Devi Women’s College here.

When the message of five cricketers arriving to inaugurate the Reebok store at Sahid Nagar reached the campus, a few hundred girls skipped their classes and started gathering in front of the showroom.

Police as well as private security personnel had a tough time in dispersing the crowd. As the arrival of cricketers was getting delayed, more girls from the city’s oldest women’s college began to occupy all available space.

Finally, at 11.30 a.m., cricketers – Harbhajan Singh, Ishant Sharma, Irfan Pathan, Yusuf Pathan and Munaf Patel – reached the showroom. Girls screamed with their full strength. While cricketers wisely did not play to the gallery, Irfan Pathan, who made a comeback to the Indian team, was seen reluctantly waving to the crowd.

During 10-minutes of the cricketers’ stay, youngsters made every attempt to peep into the showroom, which was already packed with media persons.

Irfan was more forthcoming as he described how beautiful the city was. But other members tried to maintain a distance from media members.

Sajid Shamin, executive director of marketing and product of Reebok India Company, said it was nice to see the company’s brand ambassador from Indian cricket team present at launching of a store.

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