Uncorking the Spirit of Rajasthan Royals – The Fans’ Perspective

RR Superfans have been very supportive of RR. (Source: X.com)

“Never felt like we are just a fan,” says Rithvik Bunkar, an ardent Rajasthan Royals fan and Super Royal Ambassador of the official fan club, the RR Super Royals. Rajasthan Royals aren’t just another IPL team; it’s a franchise that treats its fans like family, and Rithvik’s words support the statement. From hosting cricket tournaments for fans to arranging meetups with players, RR goes above and beyond to make every supporter feel valued and connected to the team.

Every year before the start of IPL, the franchise organises cricket tournaments for fans, and arranging player meetups is the best part of this franchise. Not just that, even to watch the IPL auction, the franchise makes sure that they conduct a special screening, which tells you a lot about even the owners.

Of all the moments, a standout one for Rithvik was to see Jos Buttler, RR batter and World Cup-winning captain, from close quarters. “The best part was to be a part of the fans’ shoot with Buttler,” said Rithvik.

So, what really makes RR different from other franchises? Vedant Kamble, another RR fan and Super Royal ambassador, feels the ‘underdog’ tag really helps the team to exceed expectations. There is also the scouting team which has given RR players like Sanju Samson, Yashasvi Jaiswal and Dhruv Jurel.

After enjoying a stellar run in the Test series against England, Jurel joined the RR camp but little did he know what was waiting for him. “The craziest thing we did as an RR fan club was dedicating a salute welcome to our star, Dhruv Jurel, when he joined the RR camp this year,” said Rithvik. “It was pure emotion from every fan for Jurel, which made him very happy.”

Both Rithvik and Vedant have interacted with Jurel in the past and revealed: “He spoke in detail about his routine and how he has come through the ranks to play in the biggest T20 league in the world.”

When RR play their season opener against the Lucknow Super Giants at their fortress in Jaipur, there will be a sea of pink inside the stadium with the chants of “Halla Bol” lighting up the stadium. The fans will come out in large numbers to support their home team in Jaipur. But what does it feel like when some of the passionate RR fans travel to other cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad to support their team? “Whenever we travel to watch a game in another team’s home venue, we have to spend a long time in that particular city,” answers Rithvik. “Everything seems to be challenging, but that doesn’t affect us at all because entertainment awaits us there. We get a chance to explore the city, meet new people, and make friends.”

In other venues, the home team fans are expected to outnumber the visiting supporters and despite being outnumbered, Vedant and other fans try their level best to match them. The fun banter with rival fans adds flavour to their excitement and prompts them to support their team away from home as well. “It’s a great experience to support our team in different cities,” said Vedant. “Yes, the crowd there outnumbers us, but we try to match their voices, be as loud as we can. It’s the exciting part of the IPL.

“When we travel to witness a live game, we get a chance to explore lots of new things, and our suffocation during travel seems to disappear. The one thing that stays with us is the excitement of seeing our team playing and our players performing well.”

IPL is not just a cricketing tournament where ten teams fight for one title. It’s more about connecting people from different parts of the world. More and more people are becoming fans of the IPL, no matter where they are from. It’s like the IPL has brought the world together through cricket. And both RR Superfans couldn’t agree more with that. “Yes absolutely!” they tell you. “We all are from different parts of the country and we wait for this time of the year in order to meet our friends and have conversations with them, not just about cricket but beyond that too.”

It’s these special interactions that make being an RR fan truly memorable – the travel stories, the fun of exploring new things and meeting new people which enhances the fan experience. From welcoming new recruits like Jurel to rubbing shoulders with legends like Shane Bond and Buttler, every encounter leaves the fans buzzing with excitement.

The IPL is a melting pot of cultures and camaraderie, bridging geographical divides through the universal language of cricket. In the grand tapestry of IPL fandom, Rajasthan Royals occupy a special place, weaving together the threads of passion, camaraderie, and unconditional support. As fans pour their hearts out in support of the team, the franchise reciprocates with gestures of appreciation, ensuring that the ‘Halla Bol’ spirit remains alive and thriving.

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