Kochi: As the Indian U-19 team was romping home against Australia in the final of the World ICC Under-19 World Cup at Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui, New Zealand, on Saturday, rhythmic beats of Chenda piped through the stadium to inspire the Boys in Blue.
When the Indian colts finally chased down the target of 217 to clinch the country's fourth U-19 title, the beats reached a crescendo. The Indian supporters were seen swaying intently to the sound of Chendamelam, Kerala's infectious percussion ensemble, performed by a group of Keralites living in different parts of New Zealand.
To add a dashing color to the electric atmosphere, one of team members came dressed up like ‘Shaji Pappan’, the main character in the hit film Aadu 2.
Cricket enthusiasts from across the world watched their performance live on TV as they managed to catch the attention of camera operators at regular intervals. After the match, Indian team’s coach Rahul Dravid was seen talking to the gang and appreciating their spirit.
The group comprised Tijo Abaraham, Bijomon Joseph, Joby Cyriac, Christi Saju, Johnson Saju, Sevenson, Liju Jose, Sabimon, Jobit, Abin, Anil Vargehse, and Sindin Prince, all natives of Kottayam.
The ensemble included five Chendas and two Elathalams.
The Chendamelam troupe was formed six months ago under the Knanaya Association in New Zealand. As many as fifteen Chendas were imported from Kerala for the purpose.
Entry was free for the final.