RCB fans extend their unwavering support at Chinnaswamy Stadium

The profound fanbase of Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), affectionately known as ‘the 12th Man Army’, is leading the charge in ushering in a new era of passionate support for women’s cricket in India. The unwavering enthusiasm they have shown for their team during the ongoing Women’s Premier League (WPL) season, marks a historic moment in Women’s cricket.

RCB fans extend their unwavering support at Chinnaswamy Stadium
RCB fans extend their unwavering support at Chinnaswamy Stadium

The M Chinnaswamy Stadium, the home ground of Royal Challengers Bangalore, and the venue for 1st leg fixtures of the ongoing 02 edition has become a basin of energy, witnessing an unparalleled gathering of cricket enthusiasts who are committed to their support for the franchise. Their presence has electrified the atmosphere, creating unmatched excitement in the league matches of the Royal Challengers Bangalore held so far.

Audience at stadium

Bangalore has played four matches in this year’s WPL and achieved an equal number of victories and losses. The audience turnout has been consistently high, especially during RCB matches.

The opening match of Royal Challengers Banglore’s campaign against UP Warriorz saw a sold-out crowd, with a massive audience. Subsequently, 23,210 spectators attended their second match against Gujarat Giants, while a staggering 25,644 audience members were present during the clash against Delhi Capitals, marking the highest attendance recorded in this year’s WPL. In the match against Mumbai Indians, 24,643 spectators gathered to witness the showdown between two of the most popular teams in the WPL.

Notably, this match recorded the highest viewership on the OTT platform, reaching a peak of 2.2 CR. In the same match, a poll was conducted between Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore, asking which team boasts a larger fan base and the results overwhelmingly favored RCB, with 85% of respondents expressing their support for the team.

In their inaugural match, the roar of the Chinnaswamy crowd welcomed RCB skipper Smriti Mandhana with overwhelming warmth. Amidst the deafening cheers, Smriti found herself momentarily stunned, unable to hear questions from the presenter during the toss. She had to request for repetition amidst the electrifying atmosphere of the Royal Challengers Banglore against UP Warriorz. The unparalleled excitement emanating from the local fans was clearly evident even before the first ball had been delivered.

In subsequent matches, against Gujarat Giants and Delhi Capitals, where Royal Challengers Bangalore won the toss, the Chinnaswamy Stadium erupted in uncontainable joy, echoing the passionate support of the home crowd. In Royal Challengers Bangalore’s matches, the stadium is engulfed by their unparalleled fans, creating a sea of red color throughout the stands. Supporters wave banners, passionately cheering and demonstrating unwavering support for their beloved team.

Few notable posters read

“SMRITI queen,” Referring to the love of fans for Smriti Mandhana’s dominance in cricket.
“Ronaldo in football and Mandhana in cricket,” highlighting Smriti Mandhana’s stature in cricket similar to Ronaldo in football. “Never Ever Doubt RCB Fans,” emphasizing the unwavering support of Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) fans.

“Cricket is everyone’s game,” reframing cricket as an inclusive sport, challenging gender biases by replacing the old age saying ‘gentleman’s game’ with ‘everyone’s game. “We Believe In You RCB,” expressing faith and support by the fans of the Royal Challengers Bangalore team.
“R- Roaring Cheers C- Chasing Hearts B- Being Loyal,” best describes the spirit and ethos of RCB fans, acknowledging the cheers, love, and loyalty of the fans.

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“My blood does not contain RBC but my blood contains RCB,” this line metaphorically conveys the intense devotion of fans to the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
“I am a big fan of RCB but I came to see KAUR” – Despite being an RCB fan, expressing a particular interest in watching Harmanpreet Kaur play.

Social Media of Royal Challengers Bangalore has a huge fanbase of 12.1 million, and they also maintain an Instagram handle specifically for their fans, boasting a substantial following of 1.9 million.

Their @rcbfans.official Instagram account recently shared a heartwarming video portraying the unwavering support of RCB fans. Despite facing the challenge of visual impairment, Pranav’s love for RCB knows no bounds. He shared, “RCB is my heart. I may not be able to watch the game, but the ambient crowd noises and vivid descriptions from my parents bridge the gap.”
Pranav Savla’s unwavering love and passion for Royal Challengers Bangalore shines brightly, despite his visual impairment.

As per YouGov’s ‘Indian Cricket Fandom Report 2024’, the remarkable consistency of support for the Royal Challengers Bangalore spans across various age demographics. Among Gen Z, aged 18-24, the fans have the highest level of support at 38 percent, reflecting its enduring impact on the youth. Notably, RCB maintains substantial backing in other age brackets as well, with 34 percent support from individuals aged 25-34, 31 percent from those in the 35-44 age group, and 33 percent in the 45-54 age group, and 31 percent in the 55+ age group, indicating a broad and enduring fan base building across generations. This widespread support by fans of all ages underlines RCB’s significance in Indian cricket.

In Royal Challengers Bangalore’s “Bold Diaries,” a captivating segment by the franchise where they share interactions with players, in a video titled “18 Questions with Smriti Mandhana,” she was asked to describe RCB in words. Her response highlights the pivotal role of the fan base in shaping the identity and success of the RCB franchise. Smriti Mandhana emphasizes that the loyalty and support of the fans are fundamental to the essence of RCB. She replied, “Fan base because whatever RCB is, it’s all because of the fans. They’re really loyal.”

RCB Players mentioning their fans, and fanbase

Renuka Singh, ace pacer of Bangalore, finds immense joy in the unwavering support of RCB fans. Their loyalty and chants energize the team during every game, creating an electrifying atmosphere that pushes them forward. It’s a unique bond that fuels their passion and drive for success.

She expressed, “It is an amazing feeling and gives a different level of momentum to all of us. I just love when they not only chant our name but show so much loyalty for RCB by coming to every game in such huge numbers, it just pumps us up during our game like anything.”

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Sophie Devine, the RCB all-rounder relishes the newfound support she is getting from RCB fans, noting the shift from chants for others to cheers for her. The overwhelming enthusiasm of the crowd builds her motivation, especially in contrast to earlier days of sparse attendance to playing in front of over 25,000 fans marks a significant milestone, showcasing the growth of women’s cricket. She stated, “I’m used to hearing them yell out Smriti’s name, so it’s sort of quite nice to hear that they’re calling my name. The crowds have been fantastic here.

“Everyone spoke about RCB fans and how good and passionate they are and it’s been unbelievable to witness that in person in the last couple of games. It’s certainly the loudest I’ve been involved in and to have that support’s been really motivating for the whole group. Think back to the start of my career and we were playing in front of ten people, do you know what I mean? And to have, I think, more than 25,000 here, just shows where the woman’s game gone. So really proud to be a part of that.”

Sophie Molineux’s post-match interview quote reflects the profound impact of fan support on the team’s performance, ultimately contributing to their success on the field. She mentioned, “The fans were amazing and they were so loud, they gave us an extra 20 runs in the chase.”

Smriti Mandhana expressed gratitude for the overwhelming support of the RCB fanbase, mentioning the anticipated noise and enthusiasm. She commended their significant attendance at Chinnaswamy Stadium, attributing their presence to an extra boost of morale, which she believed added value to their performance. Such support was deemed crucial and deeply appreciated.

“We already knew that. There’s going to be a lot of noise and support. That’s how RCB fan base is…Really happy the way the crowd turned up, so a big shoutout to them as well…Fans have turned up in huge numbers in Chinnaswamy and We feel we have 10 runs more due to their support, really thankful to them,” said Smriti Mandhana on the crowd support.

Sabbhineni Meghana, batter, acknowledged fans’ support and highlighted its transformative effect. “It (the fans’ support) really got me pumped up. I don’t know, like I was in a completely different zone. There’s nothing I could hear.”

Ellyse Perry’s remark sheds light on the unparalleled support their team receives. Her observation underscores the enthusiasm of their dedicated fanbase, which pumps their performance. She stated, “There are so many loud noises out there, cheering for us. While talking to the girls of other teams, they are just jealous of how great our fans are.”

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