Deccan Charger's memories linger on in Uppal

Remnants of the raging bull are still to be found at the stadium.

The Deccan Chargers in an earlier season of IPL.

Coming to the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, there are several reminders that it was home to the Deccan Chargers.

Now defunct, their symbol of a raging bull in a blue background adorns some of the walls; a big DC board hangs at the nets where the India team practices and directions at the gates were put by the former IPL team.

The short, sad story of the Chargers began with fanfare in 2008 when the team assembled some the biggest hitters in cricket.

The batting line-up of Adam Gilchrist, Andrew Symonds, Shahid Afridi, Rohit Sharma, Herschelle Gibbs and Scott Styris was supposed to light up Hyderabad cricket.

But for some strange reason, whenever they played at their home ground, the team never clicked.

In fact, the stadium was known not to favour home teams. The Chargers finished last in the opening IPL, India lost three of the four ODIs played here and struggled in the first Test hosted here in 2010-11.

In that game against New Zealand, India were bailed out by a century from Harbhajan Singh.

The only time the IPL was shifted out of India in 2009, the Chargers won the championship in South Africa.

"Things started to change since last year for home teams. India started to win here (they won their last Test and ODI), the Hyderabad team started to do well and who knows, had we (Chargers) been here this year, we could have also won." said Kanwaljit Singh, director of the Hyderabad Cricket Association's cricket academy.

Of all the teams he has been a part of, Kanwaljit terms the Chargers the best. DC'' class of 2008 was full of party animals with Symonds, Gibbs, Styris and Rohit leading from the front.

"They were the best lot. Most fun loving guys and never let the boys get bogged down," said Kanwaljit.

All that's passe and the remnants of the Chargers' existence are set to be wiped out. Come April, when the sixth edition of the IPL kicks off, it will be the Sunrisers holding centrestage here.

Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times. (CYCSPL)


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