"Feel Sad And Empty": Fans React As Australia End India's World Cup 2023 Title Dream
India's six-wicket loss to Australia in the final of the Cricket World Cup in Ahmedabad on Sunday left tens of thousands of fans heartbroken and in frantic search of a new plan for the night ahead. Having braved the long, colourful and festive queues for hours early Sunday to get into the ground, many started leaving the stadium in droves by the 35th over of Australia's chase as the result became obvious. The grand 132,000-seat arena is the world's biggest cricket ground and named after Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The home team, which entered the final unbeaten and favourites to win a third title, could only set a below-par 241 target for Australia to chase.
"I am returning to my home in Mumbai now," said Jine Shah, 40, who left the stadium when Australia still needed 49 runs to win their sixth World Cup title.
"I'd have stayed here and in the city if we were winning, but what's the reason now?" he asked.
'Want to sleep now'
Rajiv Kumar, 25, who planned to "celebrate through the night after India's expected win", couldn't pinpoint what went wrong with the team.
"They have been so good throughout this tournament, the best, and I don't know what happened today," he said.
"I just want to go back to my hotel to sleep and not think of this now if possible," Kumar added.
While thousands of Indian fans left their seats, Roelof Hugo, 51, a South African cricket fan from Paarl, stuck around for the final formalities.
Before this game "I didn't think that anyone could defeat India" on their current form, Hugo told AFP.
Hugo felt that Australia's bowling and fielding made the difference in the all-important game.
"We stayed back for the final even after" South Africa's elimination "because India reached the finals and we wanted