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Posted at: May 25, 2015, 2:21 AM; last updated: May 25, 2015, 2:02 AM (IST)

Carnival, chaos... the final had a bit of everything

Sabi Hussain

Tribune News Service

Kolkata, May 24

Thousands of frenzied fans, black marketers and police personnel made the IPL final between Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians at in Kolkata a carnival as well as a chaotic affair. About 67,000 fans braved severe hot and humid conditions to turn up at the Eden Gardens to cheer their favourite team. Although the city's own team, Kolkata Knight Riders, had crashed out of the tournament before the play-offs, their exit, however, did not stop the cricket-crazy Kolkata crowd from thronging the stadium on Sunday.

The fans were seen trying to get into the stadium as late as the 10th over of the first innings. People had started queuing up at the Eden Gardens from as early as 5 pm and the police had a harrowing time controlling the crowd. There were even reports of some scuffles between the police and ticket-holders at the gates. 

"We are disappointed that KKR couldn't make it to the final despite playing well in the tournament, but that is history now. We are now cheering for Mumbai Indians because our national hero Sachin Tendulkar is a part of their support staff," said engineering student Bhowmik Dey, who had come along with his friends.

Those who could not get the tickets for the high-profile match jostled for space in the surrounding 'maidan' to catch the action on a giant screen, put up by the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB). Despite stringent security, ticket touts had were out in full force, cashing in on the madness for the final. This correspondent too was offered a ticket for Rs 5,000, and another for Rs 4,500.

The police turned a blind eye to all this as they were too busy controlling the massive crowd. Inside the stadium, fans got into the party mood, with their faces painted with Chennai and Mumbai logo. There were camera flashes all around as the crowd did not miss out on a single opportunity to capture the images of their favourite players. 

Bhowmik Dey, a spectator says: We are disappointed that KKR couldn't make it to the final despite playing well in the tournament, but that is history now. We are now cheering for Mumbai Indians because our national hero Sachin Tendulkar is a part of their support staff.

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