Thursday, June 12, 2014

My IPL Diary# Ane Booysen

I was asked to write about my trip to India and Dubai as an IPL cheerleader and jumped at the opportunity to do so because, wow, what a truly amazing opportunity it was! Something I would love to share!

Now, where to start! We had numerous dance rehearsals in Cape Town to prepare for the matches, and we learned around 9 routines to ensure we were prepared and that we could keep the audience  entertained by making sure there was a wide variety of options.

So, lets fast forward to Dubai... we arrived in great anticipation and wonder for this magnificent Country! Just the bus ride from the airport was an experience as we started seeing all the billboards advertising the IPL! We also met all the girls in our team and started bonding immediately.  I could see this was going to be an amazing journey! There were 40 cheerleaders sent to Dubai, and due to the fact that one of the team's dancers were only going to arrive in India, my group of 10 cheerleaders had to rotate between all the White Mischief Teams (Kings  XI Punjab, Delhi Daredevils and Royal Challengers Bangalore). Although we danced and cheered a lot, this was a great way to see all the stadiums as well as get to know all the aspects of the amazing game of cricket.

Our first game we cheered for RCB, and nothing could have prepared us for the electric atmosphere, the hyped up crowd and the fantastic game of cricket we witnessed! It was incredible! The game lasted around 4 hours, but I wish out could have gone on longer as I wanted to savour the feeling for as long as possible. We danced around 8 matches in Dubai, and we knew once we got to India, we would only be dancing for KXIP. When we were not cheering, we took full advantage of Dubai's best shopping spots such as malls and markets! We had such fun experiencing the culture! We also had a fun filled day in the dessert,  where we went dinge bashing, camel riding and did some traditional dancing! After 2 weeks, we were packed and ready to go to to India!

So here we are in India! At last, we had arrived! What an amazing country! Everywhere we looked there seemed to something to do, different sights, smells and sounds! We landed in Bangalore, where we spent a couple of days resting before heading over to Mumbai for our first match. We soon saw how huge the match would be as when we arrived, there were thousands of children in MI shirts, all part of a charity event. It was amazing to be a party of the special day, and when KXIP lost, we didn't mind at all, as the children had the best day! All were winners that day. The only part of the match we struggled with was the heat, as we weren't used to it at all (Dubai had not been so hot), but we ensured we drank lots of water and kept or peak caps on.

Wherever we went, we were due to take advantage of all the shipping spots and markets! In Mumbai, we spent hours upon hours shopping at the Colaba, buying gifts and trinkets.

As the games went on, we could see how strong KXIP was, as they were climbing the leader board at a rapid pace! It was incredible to watch! We had front row seats to world class cricket!

We travelled to Delhi, Kolkata, Mohali, Chandigarh, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Bangalore and although that was great, it didn't always mean we could go sight seeing as sometimes we would only be in one city for 2 days which included a day for a match. We did however take full advantage of our off days.  One of the highlights for me would definitely be my trip to the Taj Mahal! It is such beauty that cannot be put into words, but something I will cherish doing forever!

When KXIP made it to the finals, we were beyond thrilled as we were proud to see the boys do so well, and we would be able to see the match of all matches, KXIP vs KKR! The atmosphere at the stadium was electric! The crowd was ready to go and it was phenomenal cricket to say the least! Boundary after boundary, wicket after wicket! We could see why these two teams were the leaders of the tournament! I was sad we didn't win, but I was so proud to be part of KXIP as they had a great tournament, and I know they can win it next year!

We unfortunately had to fly straight after the game, but we did leave on a high note!

My highlights from the trip include visiting the Taj, riding in rickshaws, meeting wonderful people and just the hospitality we were shown by everyone! If asked to do it again, I would definitely say yes!!!

Ane Booysen
For DieHard Cricket Fans

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