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On a night train to back Team India

Nov 19, 2023 06:32 AM IST

The Indian flag was aflutter as fans in blue jerseys flooded the station to board the CSMT-Ahmedabad Special Express to Ahmedabad to watch India take on Australia at the ICC World Cup 2023 final at the Narendra Modi Stadium

Platform number 17 at CSMT boomed with cheery ‘India, India’ at 10:30 pm on Saturday, steadily punctuated with ‘Kohli, Kohli’ and ‘Shami, Shami’.

On a night train to back Team India
On a night train to back Team India

The Indian flag was aflutter as fans in blue jerseys flooded the station to board the CSMT-Ahmedabad Special Express to Ahmedabad to watch India take on Australia at the ICC World Cup 2023 final at the Narendra Modi Stadium.

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Thirty three-year-old Sumanth Kamanury, a software engineer from Hyderabad travelled from Kolkata to Mumbai today after watching the semi-finals and was on his way to Ahmedabad, boarding one of the special trains announced by the railways. “I have watched almost all India matches this time. After the semis in Wankhede, I flew to Kolkata to watch another semi-final and now via Mumbai I’ll travel to Ahmedabad for tomorrow’s finals,” he said.

The cricket fan has spent over 2 lakh this season. His three other friends – Rajesh, Manjunath and Shivakumar – are accompanying him for the finals. “I still do not have the world cup ticket but I’m hopeful I’ll get one there,” said Rajesh.

On Saturday night, the friends’ circle only grew larger.

Nipa Sanghavi, a clinical psychologist, was travelling with a group of 11, which included family and friends. “We got the final’s ticket yesterday and the train ticket this morning. This is our first WC match,” she said.

Two friends Amit Repale, 31, and Pratik Shingote, 28, travelled from Pune to CSMT in the afternoon to take the special train. “We have been keeping an eye on X to see what trains would be available for us; we booked as soon as a notification dropped,” said Repale.

Two friends decided to switch travel by road to train when they heard about the special facility.

“I am going for Kohli. We can’t miss this,” said Eshaan Toshniwal, 20, a BBA student from NMIMS. His friend, Aaryan Shroff, a CA, said, “We will keep our bag at a relative’s place and head straight for the stadium.”

The Mumbai-Ahmedabad route on Western Railways has had multiple trains, including an additional Vande Bharat leaving from Mumbai Central around 5am on Sunday morning.

The railways also ran night trains from Saturday and return journey between Ahmedabad – Mumbai starting Sunday Night.

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