Leap of Faith: Inside the stadium, temple that "changed" Indian team's fortune

On normal days, it might escape the attention but on a match day- like the ongoing one- it is a vibrant sight.

Leap of Faith: Inside the stadium, temple that "changed" Indian team's fortune
Image Courtesy: Twitter

It's common for people to seek divine intervention in any sphere of life when the chips are down and sport is no different. However, a temple inside an international cricket stadium premises?

That's the sight one is greeted with on entering the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Uppal, which is hosting the ongoing second Test between India and England. On normal days, it might escape the attention but on a match day- like the ongoing one- it is a vibrant sight.

Asked about the story behind the temple, its priest Hanumanth Sharma claimed, "This temple was built (in 2011) because neither the Indian team nor the now defunct IPL franchise Deccan Chargers were winning their matches at this ground.

"It was proving to be an inauspicious ground for the home teams. It emerged that there was 'Vaastu Dosham' (a problem in architecture as per ancient Hindu architectural system) resulting in the dismal results," he said. 

"Lord Ganesha is the God of Vaastu Shastra. The Indian team has never lost a clash on this pitch after 2011," Hanumanth added.

As per statistics, India first played an international match at this venue back in 2005. It was an ODI against South Africa which they lost by five wickets. Subsequently, the home team lost to Australia in 2007 and 2009 before they beat England on October 14, 2011. India also beat Sri Lanka by six wickets.

Similarly, the first clash at this venue was a draw in 2010 against New Zealand after which the hosts registered emphatic victories in the next three games. The script is unlikely to change considering the manner in which the West Indies are playing.

Ask him if reputed Indian players come and pray here and Hanumanth's grin widens.

"Mahendra Singh Dhoni, during matches, has come and stood here, sought blessings from Lord Ganesha after practice sessions. The other name that I can recollect is Karn Sharma," said Hanumanth.

He might be a professional priest but is also a junior artist in Telugu movies."I do all sorts of roles in Telugu movies. Acting is my passion. I have already done bit roles in seven movies and I will also be working with superstar Mahesh Babu in a film called Maharishi," said Hanumanth. 

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