The 14th season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is set to begin on March 26th in Mumbai, and each franchise is gearing up for the IPL 2022. During this time the popular franchise “Royal Challengers Bangalore” hosted an event called ‘RCB Unbox’. It was a fiesta put on for RCB’s ardent supporters. The event took place in the heart of Bengaluru, on Church Street. The announcement of the new captain and the unveiling of the jersey were the key highlights of the event. The loyal challengers at the event demonstrated why RCB is known for its dedicated fan base. The declaration of their new skipper was keenly awaited by the fans. Millions of fans were left heartbroken when former Captain Virat Kohli decided to step down as captain last year. Following his declaration, people began speculating on the next captain’s name. After the mega auction held in February this year, where the team management chose star South African Player ‘Faf du Plessis’ the excitement got even higher.
The fans’ eagerness to know the new captain’s name drew them to the church street where the event was taking place. The all-day-long event started at noon and lasted till 8 P.M. The street was packed throughout the day as fans awaited their favourite cricketers. The Carnival was going well and renowned singers like ‘Raghu Dixit’ and ‘KK’ were scheduled to perform live. When the gathering began to grow in the evening, the situation started to deteriorate. Around four o’clock in the afternoon, things were as right as rain; there were popular artists on stage and local artists on the side, keeping both the front and rear audience entertained. When the popular Kannada singer ‘Raghu Dixit’ took the stage, the crowd erupted into a melee, and soon the players joined the bandwagon. The crowd was already enthralled by ‘Raghu Dixit’ and management’s decision to bring the players so close to the public at the same time proved to be a poor one. The arrival of the players was unexpected, and fans went mad, people began jostling one another to get a glance of their favourite players. The supporters were so out of control that it became difficult to breathe within the crowd, and people began pushing each other and falling on each other. Even after one of the fans fell and started bleeding, the management was unable to keep the crowd under control.
‘Lack of volunteers made the event more unsafe; tables-chairs were smashed, the RCB’s cut-outs were shredded and many even broke the barricades. The management should have chosen a bigger ground.’ One of the supporters present in the event stated. ‘Given that it was an event about RCB happening in Bengaluru on weekend and for free, the management should have envisioned the gathering. The event should have been made paid to maintain discipline and regulate the situation.’ Another fan expressed his thoughts.
The chaotic situation led to an abrupt end of the event. The organizers were compelled to hold the last two live performances by ‘Raghu Dixit’ and ‘kk’ in front of the selected crowd at RCB bar and Café. This was one of the first large scale offline event for IPL 2022, and the fact that the event ended on a sour note was extremely disheartening. The RCB’s media team confirmed that the event was cut short because of the overcrowding situation.
In the event, Faf du Plessis was named as the new captain of the bold army. He began his quarantine on 15th march in Mumbai. The team’s first match is scheduled for 27th march against Punjab.
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