Mumbai: It seems that the IPL has succeeded in developing city loyalties. After a thriller of a game between Mohali Kings XI and Mumbai Indians on Wednesday — which Kings XI won by just one run — Mohali captain, Yuvraj Singh took a pot-shot at the Mumbai crowd for being openly hostile towards his team. But is this a phenomena restricted to Mumbai?
Yuvraj Singh sarcastically thanked the Mumbai crowd, reminding them that some of his players played for Team India as well.
The joyous celebration by yuvraj singh after winning the thriller in Mumbai wasn't just to celebrate victory or even his team's passage through to the semi-finals.
The Kings XI skipper was sending out a strong message to the Mumbai crowd, which had apparently been aggressive and even abusive towards his players throughout the game.
"A crowd should not do this," he stated categorically.
Mumbai is often called the spiritual home of Indian cricket, but in the course of the IPL another side to the passionate Mumbai cricket supporter has been on show.
As the Mumbai Indians' campaign gathered momentum; the city has embraced their team vociferously, and the city's most revered cricket icon, Sachin Tendulkar, acknowledges as much.
Clearly, the theory that city-based loyalty won't work in India has gone out of the window.
This is something that Ajit Agarkar — born and brought up in Mumbai and a regular with the Ranjhi team who was heckled on his home ground when he turned up for a game on the side of the Kolkata Knight Riders — will testify to.
"They can be passionate home supporters," Agarkar said of the Mumbai crowd.
Of course, home support can at times cross acceptable limits, as was obvious with the monkey impersonations directed at Australia's Andrew Symonds last year in Mumbai, which sparked off a racism row.
(With inputs from Pavitra Sazawal in New Delhi)