A sea of people in yellow t-shirts moved about a platform at Chennai Central station on Thursday. Sporting big smiles and waving yellow banners, many of them, mostly youngsters, gave the victory sign before they disappeared inside the coaches of the Whistle Podu Express.
The passengers, all of them fans of the Chennai Super Kings or CSK, left for Pune on Thursday. They will reach their destination at 10:30 am today.
The hashtag #WhistlePoduExpress created a flutter among CSK and cricket fans on Twitter as the cheering, noisy group of over 1,000 people chugged toward Pune, where CSK will play against Rajasthan Royals or RR at the Maharashtra Cricket Association International Stadium.
Though the venue for Chennai Super Kings or CSK matches has shifted, the dates for the remaining six matches have not changed.
"Whistle podu" or "blow the whistle" is the official war cry of the Chennai Super Kings.
Some 20 buses will take the CSK fans to the stadium from the railway station in Pune.
The CSK management organised the fans-only special train to boost the morale of their fans who felt dejected after the team decided to play its home games in Pune, following protests against the Indian Premier League or IPL over the Cauvery management board issue.
The Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings have a huge fan base in the country.
"#WhistlePoduExpress all set to storm Pune with #YelLove," CSK tweeted.
Though the venue has shifted, the dates for the remaining six matches have not changed.
CSK chief coach Stephen Fleming was not happy with the decision to shift the venue for home matches to Pune. He tweeted: "Sad to be leaving Chennai today. Great to be back and again experience the love and passion the Tamil Nadu fans have for cricket and CSK."
The Whistle Podu Express is scheduled to reach Pune at 10:30 am today
The Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings have a huge fan base in the country. "I trust a 'peaceful' resolution is found soon for the problems at hand. Thanks to everyone for making the team so welcome," Mr Fleming added.
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