The much-anticipated IPL 2023 final between the Chennai Super Kings and the Gujarat Titans disappointed the thousands of fans who packed the Narendra Modi Stadium. Rain fell nonstop all evening, delaying the coin toss and eventually forcing the match to be called off. Many spectators who had arrived without umbrellas were trapped late into the night as the rain continued to fall long after the postponement. However, an unexpected hero emerged to save the day: a giant-sized replica of Virat Kohli.
Around 11:00 p.m. IST, the decision was reached to postpone the play till the reserve day. Despite the postponement, the rain continued to fall, creating massive puddles on the pitch and outfield and effectively turning the Narendra Modi Stadium into a pond.
It was difficult for the thousands of spectators trying to leave the stadium as it continued to rain. The Kohli image came into play when they were in this predicament. In commemoration of the IPL 2023 final, the site was decorated with large signs depicting each player’s best moments from the season. One of them was a photo of Kohli, which was demolished by CSK and GT fans alike. When it began to rain, fans utilized the image as a temporary umbrella to exit the stadium.
The weather forecast for Reserve Day did not predict rain throughout the game. This meant that the winner would be determined by a full 20-over match. The Chennai Super Kings were competing in their tenth IPL final. They hoped to win their sixth trophy, tying them with the Mumbai Indians for the most in IPL history. The Gujarat Titans, on the other hand, sought to be the first side since the Chennai Super Kings to defend their IPL crown.
Fans sat calmly in anticipation of the Reserve Day encounter, hoping for good skies and a great game between two strong sides. Despite the downpour, the spirit of cricket triumphed as spectators sought refuge in Kohli’s larger-than-life presence.