One thing was for certain - Wankhede would be choc-a-bloc with Fans to witness the first game!
The Wankhede Stadium has never seen empty seats - be it the International games or the IPL Matches.
On 12th April 2015, the Wankhede would offer a whole new experience to all its fans!
I was one of the fortunate few to have had the first taste of these on Saturday 11th April 2015.
Mumbai Indians were gracious to offer me a ticket for the game I was looking forward to experiencing the new offerings all over again!
So what were the new offerings in store? - JioNet and JioChat!
JioNet would offer Free High Speed Internet to the Spectators while JioChat ( a Free App available for download ) would offer fans instant messaging, Video Chats and let them explore the latest videos and features uploaded on the official channels listed in the app.
This was the First time that a stadium in India would feature such an offering!
Today's post features the match summary as well as the browsing experience.
En-route to the Stadium
The Teams are busy with the pre-match warm-ups :
The Toss - Mumbai Indians won the toss and elected to field :
The Stands filling up fast :
The Match about to commence :
Shots from the Innings :
Mumbai Indians celebrating the fall of wickets :
The Strategic Time out :
The Mexican Wave and the crowd chanting Sachin Tendulkar's Name. The Legend obliges with a wave to this beloved fans!
Kings XI Punjab got off to a blistering start but a couple of wickets pegged them back. Glenn Maxwell was sent back cheaply and Mumbai Indians seemed to be getting a grip of the game. However David Miller and George Bailey steadied the ship and the latter went on to make a brilliant 61 to post an imposing total of 177 at the end of 20 overs.
The Chase for Mumbai Indians started on a bad note as Captain Rohit Sharma was dismissed without disturbing the scoreboard.
Aaron Finch seemed to provide some impetus but a great spell by Sandeep Sharma and Mitchell Johnson left Mumbai on the ropes at 46/5 in 11.4 overs. Kieron Pollard was caught at Long-off with the score on 69 and all hope seemed lost.
In stepped Harbhajan Singh. The Turbanator alongwith the debutant Jagadeesha Suchith smashed 88 runs in 5 overs and the clean hitting resurrected the Wankhede Crowd. Chants of "Bhajji", "We Want Six" reverberated throughout the stadium as Mumbai Indians closed in on the target. 30 runs were needed of the final over and it was too much in the end as the home team fell short by 19 runs.
Nevertheless the crowd went home happy thanks to the 7th wicket partnership.
So how did JioNet and JioChat fare on their first day at office?
Spectators were regularly informed about the 2 product offerings through the PA Systems and the Stadium Screen. Representatives were proactively helping spectators log-on to the service and experience it first-hand.
After a few initial hiccups I was able to connect to JioNet and the browsing experience suddenly reached another level!
JioNet offered Seamless High Speed Internet as I posted regular updates of the game on my social media handles. Photos and Videos were uploaded without breaking a sweat ( sweat was due to the High Humidity in the Stadium though :P )
Normally whenever a Service has a large number of users logged on, Bandwidth issues can be experienced but I was fortunate enough to not encounter such an issue.
I used JioChat to converse with a couple of my friends and the Instant Messaging was a lot of fun as it offered Hindi Stickers and Smileys! It was nice to sample such an Indianised app. JioNet ensured that Video Chats didn't experience lagging on JioChat.
I must say that I was very impressed by the services offered and never dreamt of experiencing something like this so early in India.
I have visited many F1 Circuits in my 3 years of travel and No Country has been able to match the service offered by JioNet at Wankhede. F1 Circuits have similar offerings but the number of users logged in cause a lot of network drops.
One might argue that the expanse of a F1 Circuit does not permit the feasibility of such a product but the concentration of 32000 people within a confined space of a stadium is equally challenging.
Hiccups are part and parcel of any product and it was JioNet's and JioChat's first day at the office. I am sure niggling issues, if any, would be ironed out soon enough.
However one cannot deny that the Wankhede Stadium has sent a new benchmark in India when it comes to offering Fans a better experience!
It was a memorable day at the Wankhede Stadium. Although Mumbai Indians lost, they didn't go down without a valiant fight.
JioNet and JioChat were definitely put through their paces and they are great offerings at the Wankhede!
Fans visiting the Wankhede Stadium to watch the Mumbai Indians play can pre-register on this website to experience JioNet
Website Url : wankhede.jio.com
Jio On Wankhede!!