If there were any perceptions about the threat of coronavirus in the city, its cricket fans certainly didn't show it. Mumbaikars thronged to the Wankhede Stadium in numbers to relive some of their golden memories of watching the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Brian Lara and Yuvraj Singh in action.
There were doubts about the response to the initiative of gathering veterans to play a tournament at a time when the world is reeling from the fast-spreading virus. However, to the amazement of all the players, a packed Wankhede greeted the India and West Indies legends on Saturday night.
Playing to promote the 'Road Safety Week', both teams were studded with some big names. But, most of all, the crowd had turned up to watch Lara and Tendulkar turn back the clock. Much to their delight, the two best batsmen of their era didn't disappoint.
West Indies Legends batted first and Lara set the tone with two extravagant lofted drives off Zaheer Khan. At the score of 17, he was out, stumped by keeper Sameer Dighe off Irfan Pathan, but he had given the crowd what they had come to see with four beautifully timed fours.
When India's turn came to bat, chasing 151, Tendulkar came up with the perfect response to the Caribbean master's cameo, treating his home crowd to his trademark strokes all around the wicket en route to a 29-ball 36.
To add to the fun, Tendulkar's opening partner, Sehwag, also showed glimpses of his former self during a typically destructive 57-ball unbeaten 74 to power the home team to a seven-wicket win. Tendulkar and Sehwag's entry into the ground was greeted with a thunderous applause and Sehwag livened up the proceedings by smashing the first two balls of the innings for fours, the second a glorious front-foot cover drive on a bent knee.