69

India v West Indies match report

Bowled on 8th November, 2011 at 09:29 by
Category: India cricket news, Match report

Ritesh writes:

I solved a mystery yesterday. In a Test that could well see Sachin Tendulkar hit his 100th international century, only 8,000 people turned up on a Sunday to a ground that holds 50,000.

Of course such turnouts are not uncommon at marginal grounds where the BCCI insists on hosting Test matches, but this was the Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi, where cricket has been played since 1883 and which staged its first test in 1948. Yet, what we saw yesterday were empty seats.

Sunday began as a glorious day in Delhi, with no sign of the infamous Delhi smog and the first hint of winter in the air. While reading the previews of the Test over morning coffee, my wife and I agreed that it was a perfect day to watch some cricket. The plan was to get comfortable seats in a stand that serves good food and drink, so we could read the newspaper and chat, with occasional cricket interruptions. Hopefully nothing too exciting would happen in the game to affect our plan.

So we set off early for the 90 minute drive to the stadium. There were more policemen than spectators outside the stadium, and we played a little game of pointing out the paunchiest among them (we found at least a dozen officers of Gatting-esque proportions). When we politely asked where we could park, we were asked if we have “parking accreditation”. Since we were unfamiliar with the term, we were pointed to a location approximately 5km away, where a “park and ride” service was available.

20 minutes and much Google-Maps-fiddling later, we were parked and ready to ride. The organisers unfortunately were unclear about the “ride” part of the arrangement – we were expected to find our own rides back to the stadium, a fact that was complicated by the traffic restrictions around the parking area. But the day was still good for walking and sharing rickshaws with strangers and we had missed only an hour of play when we reached the stadium (again).

On reaching the ticket window, we were informed that the ticket window was closed because it was Sunday.

Just reflect on that. It is the first day of the only Test match you will host this year. The ground is not even one-fifth full. Yet you don’t sell tickets because it is Sunday.

The policemen (who were genuinely polite and helpful for a change) told us that tickets were also available at major banks and at least one of those banks worked on Sundays. They even gave us directions to the nearest branch, about 3km away. Of course the traffic restrictions were still in place, so again we walked. There was one person selling tickets there and at least 200 people in line. Still, we had come so far so we decided to wait.

At the counter they told us we could buy day-tickets for the concrete bleachers (exposed to the sun and approximately at square leg), but for any other stand they were selling only 5-day tickets. It was as if the DDCA (Delhi and Districts Cricket Association) deliberately wanted to keep the turnout low. We only wanted to watch the game on Sunday, but after much deliberation decided to buy tickets for all the five days because, well, we had come too far to back out now.

So triumphantly we walked to the stadium for the third time since the morning. By this time the game was midway through the second session. We were hungry and dehydrated and the missus was growing irritated, but hey we at least had tickets. Unseen treats awaited us on the other side of the security barrier.

Then the metal detector beeped. Our new tablet computer was the problem. According to the fine print behind the ticket, you are allowed to take phones and digital cameras to the ground, but there was no mention of tablets. I gave a full technology demo of my tablet, sent a text message from it (to prove it was a phone) and took a picture (to prove it was a camera). But it fell somewhere in the twilight zone of technology products and the final decision was no.

We had a choice – we could go back to our car (which was parked 5km away), keep the tablet there, walk back and catch maybe 90 minutes of play. Or we could cut our losses and run. We ran. We had spent half a day and several thousand rupees already, and not even the enticing prospect of watching part of Umesh Yadav’s Test debut could bring us back to the stadium.

I guess we were insufficiently committed to Test cricket. With fans like these, no wonder Test cricket is dying in the subcontinent.

This table cricket T-Shirt is less rubbish than most

Make an appeal
  1. Reply
    akshay   //   November 8th, 2011 at 11:14

    Well expressed.
    Only logical explanation is that Kotla management is well fed from other sources, hence not bothered in ticketing revenue from test matches.

    Posted & linked on this indiancricketfans forum.
    http://www.indiancricketfans.com/showthread.php?p=1699328
    Let us know if you have any objection.

  2. Reply
    sofly   //   November 8th, 2011 at 12:02

    Sachin’s 100th 100? That’s not crictainment…

    THIS is crictainment:

    http://www.bigbash.com.au/ !!!

    • jsfain   //   November 8th, 2011 at 14:08

      But it is not cricket!

  3. Reply
    ceci   //   November 8th, 2011 at 12:32

    Keep re-tweeting this. Such an eye-opener!

  4. Reply
    Prongle   //   November 8th, 2011 at 12:36

    Excellent piece. Is this sort of thing normal in India?

  5. Reply
    forwardshortleg   //   November 8th, 2011 at 13:17

    Well this is the sorry state of affairs at Delhi. Odis and T20 this year at Wankhede it was a much better affair…can lets you guys know..I’m planning to go for the test at Wankhede, Mumbai (3rd test in Ind vs WI series)

  6. Reply
    Bert   //   November 8th, 2011 at 13:20

    Hold on a moment. I mean, excellent reporting and all that, goes without saying really, top class and so on, but doesn’t this report concern a match THAT IS STILL GOING ON? What about the statutory eight month delay? There are match reports in the queue that would mention Benaud bowling to Cowdrey if they weren’t banned from mentioning cricket. This is so current that we don’t have to look it up on Cricinfo just to remember that it even happened.

    What next? Reports on matches that have yet to happen? As if we were some sort of Indian bookmaker or something?

  7. Reply
    Alok   //   November 8th, 2011 at 13:26

    @prongle

    Regrettably, yes.

    However, DDCA is the pits. In smaller venues, more people actually turn up because the association doesn’t get big matches every year, and make efforts to sell tickets.

    In this respect, possibly Bangalore, Mumbai and Chennai are decent places to watch cricket in. All others treat spectators like so unwanted mobs so they don’t publicize tickets, don’t sell them early enough and don’t have any amenities once you get in.

    As a body, the DDCA exists only to hand out VIP passes to VIPs for international matches, which are never used because the matches are so badly scheduled and organized. In a weird Groucho Marx way, DDCA does not like people who *want* to watch a match at the ground and short of machine gunning them on entry, does everything to dissuade viewers.

    I really hope Tendulkar reserves his 100th 100 for Mumbai, in his home ground and most likely, a full ground thanks to this. http://www.espncricinfo.com/india-v-west-indies-2011/content/story/539627.html?CMP=chrome

  8. Reply
    Savan Sabharwal   //   November 8th, 2011 at 13:30

    Wake up BCCI And DDCA – you are responsible for killing cricket in our country

  9. Reply
    Venkat   //   November 8th, 2011 at 13:35

    The problem sadly is that the administrators take the paying fan for granted. And of course the DDCA is best joke played on Indian cricket. But I still don’t think the interest in test cricket is waning. If you play in traditional venues (Chennai, Mumbai, Eden Gardens and Bangalore) you’ll still get good numbers. Of course, the hosting associations (while they are inept themselves)aren’t in the class of DDCA. So the arrangements are generally better

  10. Reply
    Gaurav   //   November 8th, 2011 at 13:35

    Why it is necessery for people to turn up at ground. Now lot of gadgets are there and we can watch and check scores at home. this doesn’t means Indians not nupport test cricekt. Two of their batsmen are at top of run scoreres in test cricket. Anil kumble is tthe third highest wicket taker ever. Anyway, BCCI cannot go to everybody house and say to them that come to ground to watch. People will follow and support test cricket in India in a way they feel comfortable with.

  11. Reply
    Crownish   //   November 8th, 2011 at 13:53

    Hi Ritesh,
    Is this the first time you went for a match at the Kotla, or anywhere in India? They’ve only just relaxed on allowing phones inside, not even iPods due to their own incomprehension. Taking a tablet along with you is only creating an obstacle for yourself, pointing out a technical loophole even more so.

    Everything you mentioned before that is something that happens all the time and it’s purely the fault of the local association and administration for not putting out ads about ticket counters and traffic arrangements.

  12. Reply
    Deep Cower   //   November 8th, 2011 at 13:53

    I am sorry, but this is totally your fault. Every bit of it. Let us break it up.

    1. 90 minute drive – you should really live closer to the stadium so you can hear the roar during the ODIs so your sleep is compromised.

    2. Not planning ahead – trying to get tickets at the counter before a match is a bad idea – go there armed with the tickets. What do you mean it was a late decision? Time travel exists only for people like you.

    3. Parking – why drive? Oh, yeah, 90 minutes. See point 1 above.

    4. Tablet computer – This is just silly. You don’t need a computer in a cricket stadium. Who are you, Andy Flower? And even if you did, EVERYBODY knows Delhi police are Steve Jobs fanboys.

    5. And finally giving up when you could still watch the match? You disappoint me Ritesh. You let a tablet and parking stand in the way of Bishoo and Baugh.

    Hang your head in shame.

  13. Reply
    sam   //   November 8th, 2011 at 13:58

    Very well written piece, Ritesh.

  14. Reply
    Ramesh   //   November 8th, 2011 at 14:00

    Were the grounds filled When SriLanka toured England !??!

    • Martin   //   November 8th, 2011 at 14:27

      When it wasn’t raining, they were reasonably decent attendances for the time of year. The grounds weren’t full, but they weren’t empty either.

    • aandthirtyeights   //   November 9th, 2011 at 11:28

      I went for the Eng-SL Test Match at the Lords, and it was quite full.

  15. Reply
    Stanley   //   November 8th, 2011 at 14:16

    Who is the head of DDCA again?? A politician called Arun Jaitley. The members of DDCA who elected Arun Jaitley as the President need to be kicked first. And if the fans still have some anger left, kick the office bearers of MCA for electing Vilasrao Deshmukh. Till we have politicians running sports bodies, the fans of the game will continue to be treated like a football.

  16. Reply
    Gautam R   //   November 8th, 2011 at 14:23

    Ritesh,

    Firstly, let me establish my credibility before I launch into what will be a defence of what happened at the ground and what I beleive is a needless criticism that only helps foreign journalists lampoon India. You need to know that every foreign journalist has retweeted this article so you are unintentionally helping the wrong folks.

    I am someone who watches test matches live at Bangalore for the last 15 years. This also means that I sometimes also take leave on working days to attend test matches and I have watched every one of them in the last 10 years or so. And I dont watch IPL, but that is for another day.

    Firstly, I cannot beleive that you actually thought it was possible to drive to the ground and get tickets. That NEVER happens in India even when stadiums are empty. This is because cricket associations have their compulsions and give out only a few to the general public. We can argue about the merits or de-merits of it, but what I am saying is it was pretty naive of you to think that you can drive up and get tickets. You need tickets, you buy them earlier. Simple rule. Else, drive up, take a chance but that is what you are doing, taking a chance.

    Secondly, on parking. That also has never happened, not in 15 years in my knowledge. The only way you get parking is if you take a two-wheeler to the ground and get to park it in one of the by-lanes near by. Else, you take your car, park it somewhere close to the stadium like in a mall or a hotel and take a rickshaw to the ground. Standard practise, helps you get in and out quickly and frankly, the associations have limited parking around the stadium which they will give to accredited cars.

    Thirdly, you took your tablet to the stadium !! This is the MOST bizarre thing I have heard. They let you take phones, smartphones, etc may be sometimes laptops as well but never tablets. Please understand context. The policemen are paranoid about security and frankly neither have the time nor the inclination to learn about new fancy gadgets. My suggestion is this. Next time, take your phone and a camera and you will greatly enjoy the experience rather than surfing the internet on your tablet sitting in the stadium. You might as well do it at home.

    And this does get me to the real point. If you are serious about watching test cricket, next time check the local papers and figure out when they are selling tickets to the stadium and buy them in advance. Plan and have realisitic expectations about what you can take to a public place in India.

    Trust me, I am no fan of the DDCA (which is a hopelessly corrupt and political body) neither am I of the KSCA in Bangalore. I am just a serious cricket fan who has been going to the stadium in India to watch test cricket. And I beleive that while the process has its challenges, it still is pleasant enough and meets the standards of what you can hope to experience while going to a public place in India.

    Not some fancy notion of attending a “cool” event with your tablet and without tickets in your pocket.

    Regards

    Gautam R

    • Bert   //   November 8th, 2011 at 15:34

      A superb rebuttal. Well done.

      Just remind me again, why exactly was the ground empty?

    • Alok   //   November 8th, 2011 at 17:00

      From what I have seen and heard, the KSCA, with the Madras and Punjab Cricket Associations, provide the exception rather than the rule to watching cricket in India. Having watched matches in the Chinnaswamy, yes, I agree it is a pleasant experience but it does take a bit of planning, and thanks to some sane administrators, it is not usually a nightmare to get into or out of.

      I cannot fathom a good “merit” with having about half the seats for invitee only passes. I can understand abt 5-10% seats being reserved that way, but surely the DDCA could check with such invitees if they want to turn up in advance and release the seats if possible. DDCA has a serious problem with its priorities and Ritesh’s post is only a reflection.

      The point is not that Ritesh could have been smarter, but that the DDCA’s arrangements were so piss poor one would have to be clairvoyant (or been once bitten, in which case you’re likely to be twice shy) to manage around it.

      Considering the publicity blitz that surrounds most meaningless and pointless IPL T20s, one would have thought that the DDCA could have thought it fit to open more counters, publicize routes and arrangements better and allow people to plan properly by telling them what is and what is not allowed inside.

      Let’s be clear. There are any number of people in most major cities in India who will flock to Test Matches (even if it’s *only* against the West Indies), but with administrators like the DDCA making it so hard and arduous with their mismanagement and incompetence, you will see empty stands galore.

    • e normous   //   November 8th, 2011 at 17:40

      all your comment amounts to is “you have to accept ddca/bcci practices, regardless of how ridiculous they may be, if you can’t deal with that YOU’RE NOT HARDCORE”

    • Tybalt   //   November 8th, 2011 at 20:31

      None of which, Gautam, says anything about the main point of what Ritesh was saying, which is that this ridiculous obstacle-strewn bureaucracy for bureaucracy’s sake is precisely why people don’t bother to attend a match.

      You tut him and correct him and tell him that if he’s “serious about watching test cricket” that he needs to jump up, bend down, touch his toes, etc. That is fine, and likely very good advice. But unless local boards and associations make it possible for people besides those “serious about test cricket” to attend a match, that group of test watchers will never, ever grow.

    • Dandy Dan   //   November 8th, 2011 at 21:28

      Every foreign journalist has re-tweeted this article?

      Crikey.

    • shiv   //   November 9th, 2011 at 06:48

      Ha ha, Gautam,, you are a one stale big banana and am sure you must have jumped down from a tree.In a sane world populated by sensible people like Ritesh, what you do is scan the newspaper/website, try to find information about tickets and parking.But in a dumpyard populated by specimens like you that information is not easily available.So what a sane person will do is take his/her transportation, go to the arena and findout whether they allow parking within or an arrangement has been made nearby.In sane world, there will be one.Tickets however big the ven ue or the event has always been sold at the venue.I have watched tennis matches at wimbledon, even there, for the first 2 days tickets are sold at the counters.In a sane world, they will make a list of what you can take.Sensible things will be permitted including drinking water.But India is populated by specimens like you.So Ritesh has to suffer.But one thing.If the same treatment is given to you, you will be frothing spewing expletives not sardonic or even attempt black humour.India needs more Riteshes not ( I think I sait it enough) nitwits like you

    • Pranesh,   //   November 9th, 2011 at 20:53

      Good rebuttal, but one problem. Sitting at Bangalore, with one of the best associations in the country, it’s a bit harsh to assume the same about Delhi. I Know for a fact that Eden Gardens sucks compared to Bangalore and Chennai, I assume Kotla would be closer to Eden than the other two.

    • MP   //   November 10th, 2011 at 13:53

      Gautam,
      It appears you have not really watched cricket live at Bangalore. You can get tickets at the ground on the day of the match, IF the ground is not sold out. In Bangalore, there is plenty of parking available in the vicinity of the stadium itself. I suppose you must have watched a match at KSCA a couple of decades ago.

      So please do not do a disservice and “stereo type” the cricket watching experience in India.

      Here you are attempting to prevent “lampooning” of India and you unwittingly launch into a cynical description of the “mind-set” one needs to have when watching cricket in India. In soccer parlance, what you have just done would be called a “self-goal”:-)

      Even if this is the same situation all over India – that you cannot drive to a stadium, park nearby and take a tablet into a stadium – why should we not aspire or demand that? Will you continue to accept such poor service from DDCA & KSCA? Rather than talk openly and publicise such bungling, you wish to “work-around” such incompetence and condone these nincompoops? When do we get these things to improve if we do not demand better?

      Wake up and accept the realities, mate. Don’t stick your head in the sand.

  17. Reply
    Peter   //   November 8th, 2011 at 14:38

    critically though – can you buy beer in Indian stadiums?

    • forwardshortleg   //   November 9th, 2011 at 10:09

      Nope. Normal stands no alcoholic beverages are served. Only in Hospitality stands you might get them.

  18. Reply
    D Charlton   //   November 8th, 2011 at 14:43

    Nice long comment Gautam. Why doesn’t Delhi just make it easier to get tickets when it’s half full by, erm, selling them at the ground?

    Cracking match report Ritesh – fantastic insight.

  19. Reply
    Ritesh Banglani   //   November 8th, 2011 at 15:19

    Wow, I wasn’t expecting so many serious comments. It IS a match report after all.

    Gautam, I can’t make out if your comment is ironic. Apologies if it is, but otherwise it is very hard to justify not selling tickets on match day. I have recently moved from bangalore myself, and I have always been able to buy test match tickets at the stadium on match day. It is not rocket science really, selling tickets at the stadium. The method has worked well since people started paying to watch gladiators being mauled by lions. As for your assumptions about what constitutes a serious cricket watching experience, I will decide what works for me, thank you.

    • thesmudge   //   November 8th, 2011 at 15:33

      I think we typed similar sentiments in parallel Ritesh. See below!

    • forwardshortleg   //   November 9th, 2011 at 10:43

      Ritesh,

      Have you ever been able to tale your ‘tablet’ into the B’lore stadium? I don’t know why you tried doing it..its a security issue. Got to accept that..I would be surprised If any Indian stadium would allow you to take tablets.

      And by the look of things you were going to the Kotla for the first time..You might have watched games in other stadiums in India, but asking people who have been to the stadium and knowing about the ground realities there doesn’t harm anyone.

      Delhi isn’t the most spectator friendly venue in India, that is for sure. But do you visit a new place without even knowing about what’s in store? For example you are going to travel to a new city, don’t you do your research on the same before you go to the city or do you go there and try to work things out?

      DDCA isn’t doing a great job, but it’s not their main revenue generator nyways. For folks who aren’t from India – they should know that a season ticket ( ticket for all 5 days) was available for as low as INR 500 ( less than 7 pounds for 5 days) .Just saying the kind of facilities at foreign grounds should not be expected at stadiums here in India.

      Bottom line: Be prepared, better be safe than sorry is my point.

    • e normous   //   November 9th, 2011 at 15:45

      ^ forwardshortleg:

      “Just saying the kind of facilities at foreign grounds should not be expected at stadiums here in India.”

      Common sense shouldn’t be expected? Why not?

      “Have you ever been able to tale your ‘tablet’ into the B’lore stadium? I don’t know why you tried doing it..its a security issue.”

      Is that right? More than a mobile phone or a camera?

      “DDCA isn’t doing a great job, but it’s not their main revenue generator nyways”

      Ah yes, the important thing here is that the DDCA’s interests are being taken care of. Thank goodness for that.

      “Bottom line: Be prepared, better be safe than sorry is my point.”

      And the point of this article is that the things you ‘should’ be prepared for when going to watch a match at the FSK are totally unreasonable.

      Maybe the DDCA should just get a moat filled with crocodiles put around the stadium. Be prepared to pole vault over it, and don’t complain if you fall in. Those foreign journalists will be all over it.

  20. Reply
    thesmudge   //   November 8th, 2011 at 15:29

    Excellent report Ritesh. Written with the archly raised eyebrow which we like to see. I’ve read Gautam’s rebuttal a couple of times hoping he was being especially dry- but unfortunately I think he means it.

    But chaps, we are all getting rather glum again! Our esteemed monarch saved us from our post match-fixing hair rending with the West Indian names wheeze. Now we are faced with another bout of melancholy. Oh King, provide us with another playground jape to raise our spirits.

    • Deep Cower   //   November 8th, 2011 at 16:33

      A Delhi policeman name generator?

  21. Reply
    Oliver Brett   //   November 8th, 2011 at 15:53

    Gautam – you say:

    “Cricket associations have their compulsions and give out only a few to the general public”

    Right – so they’d rather have the ground empty than actually sell whatever tickets they can to the poor idiots who are stupid enough to TRY to come to the game.

    And what on earth do the cricket associations do with the vast number of tickets that are set aside for them? Burn them?

    Really, I’ve never heard such rubbish.

    This article, on the other hand, is quite excellent and another dagger in the credibility of the ham-fisted BCCI.

  22. Reply
    SirLicht   //   November 8th, 2011 at 16:06

    well, thats some read…and truly shocking – in fact thats depressing! And a real reflection on areas of world cricket and what it really means to certain boards of control.

  23. Reply
    King Cricket   //   November 8th, 2011 at 16:32

    A lot of people find this a depressing read in some ways, but the way we look at is that interest in Test cricket is thriving despite what is a basically hostile environment.

    Think what attendances Test matches might get were people able to buy tickets for them.

  24. Reply
    Abdul hafezi   //   November 8th, 2011 at 18:03

    Hello ritesh,
    Very good account. Don’t worry about those advising of not washing our linemen in public.
    It’s always costructive to high light difficulties. You never know powers might be may take note.
    I admire your perseverance. I wd have given up lot earlier.
    Abdul a hafezi

    • JD   //   November 9th, 2011 at 07:47

      Wait a minute, aren’t linemen the good guys who come and repair the phone line if its broken?
      And why should we be washing them in public?
      Do they stink as much as the DDCA?

  25. Reply
    Uday   //   November 8th, 2011 at 18:27

    Kotla has always been the unfriendliest of cricket venues in India (I had a similar experience a few years ago, when in an attempt to buy tickets, we were told by all and sundry to go to gate 4 – we spent hours looking for it, and eventually there turned out to be no such gate!!) But then, the stadium shenanigans are not the only reason attendances are declining. Having gotten used to being competitive in high profile contests against south africa, australia, and england over the last few years, i don’t think the Indian public are particularly excited by a west indies encounter (a misconception which i hope is not shared by the players – the windies are no pushovers).

  26. Reply
    Uday   //   November 8th, 2011 at 18:41

    I wouldn’t bother going to a stadium to see sachin and dravid bat anymore, unless they were up against the south african or english quicks. On slow, low tracks against Sammy and Co., they are positively torturous. I would much rather watch Kohli and Pujara take their beginner strides in test cricket than see Sachin and Dravid amble along, having nothing to prove. It just wont satisfy to see S&D score slow hundreds against the west indies attack.

    Yes, Im Indian.

  27. Reply
    Dave   //   November 8th, 2011 at 18:55

    I spent ages wondering why the bails were circled.

    • Dandy Dan   //   November 8th, 2011 at 21:25

      Nice use of MS Paint for them ovals.

    • Deep Cower   //   November 8th, 2011 at 22:24

      Ah! MS paint. That explains it. I was wondering why the edge of one oval touches the batsman’s middle finger while that of the other brushes Dhoni’s rear. I knew this could not have been an accident.

  28. Reply
    Ritesh Banglani   //   November 9th, 2011 at 00:58

    So nobody else can see the blue pterodectyl attacking Brathwaite while Dhoni tries to catch its tail? They are wily, these camouflaged reptiles!

  29. Reply
    AK   //   November 9th, 2011 at 02:21

    Cameras (including DSLRs & handycams) and tablet PCs were allowed at recently held F1 GP in Noida. Then why not in cricket stadiums?

    Regarding Kotla, I was there at Sunday. Bought single day ticket with ‘great’ difficulty on Saturday from a tout at double the price. Bank had no tickets but tout sitting at Bank’s doorstep had all.

  30. Reply
    Tarun   //   November 9th, 2011 at 06:09

    Sad

  31. Reply
    Fred Grace   //   November 9th, 2011 at 07:45

    Are we near 100 yet?

  32. Reply
    Ged   //   November 9th, 2011 at 07:55

    I’m not sure about the “take your camera, take your phone but don’t take your tablet” comment.

    Some of you might recall the following match report from Chennai, only a few months ago:

    http://www.kingcricket.co.uk/south-africa-v-zimbabwe-world-cup-warm-up-match-report/2011/06/14/

    The cricket authorities can, of course, make plenty of dosh from TV rights, sponsorships etc. But if they want good crowds for matches, they simply have to make the match-going experience a good one for the travelling and paying punter.

    It’s bad enough at most grounds here in Blighty, but Ritesh’s experience (and to a far lesser extent mine in February) in India is a terrible indictment of the ground authorities there.

    Sorry to get all serious on you, folks.

  33. Reply
    Sandeep   //   November 9th, 2011 at 08:40

    Went to see a world cup match between West Indies & Ireland at Mohali earlier this year.. There weren’t even 1000 people inside but had a similar ticketing experience.. Big money is made through TV rights, nobody is interested whether fans turn up at the ground or not.

  34. Reply
    Tim   //   November 9th, 2011 at 09:38

    That’s the shittest Venn diagram I have ever seen.

  35. Reply
    Satyam   //   November 9th, 2011 at 10:20

    Hi, Ritesh
    Cracking match report, tho it hardly told us anything about what exactly happened in the match, on the pitch(and also about the blue pterodectyl u mentioned). i will like to say that what all Gautam typed in his reply wasnt exactly right BUT practical.i seriously doubt whether he was advocating stinky management by DDCA.things have always been like that at Kotla(yep a victim here) and they must change for good if BCCI is really serious about a little thing known as test cricket.i read your comment at cricinfo on sunday as well and i guess we all agree that things must change for good, but again till the time they do, go for tickets in advance(do it for Sachin’s sake if nothing else!) and keep your tablet in your car(seriously man for a typical delhi policeman tablet comes in a wrapper generally used to get rid of a headache, don’t confuse the poor souls!)

    P.S India is proud to have cricfans like you:)

  36. Reply
    DigVijay Singh   //   November 9th, 2011 at 10:53

    Ritesh, you are too weak to be living in this country. You should do your homework.

  37. Reply
    vaibhav ghevde   //   November 9th, 2011 at 10:57

    I hate when such things happen. At times like these, It feels like we just walked into a trap and never mind how much we try to defend ourselves, we are sure to get caught!!

  38. Reply
    Lawrie Colliver   //   November 9th, 2011 at 11:43

    The fact you can’t buy a ticket at the ground is a disgrace. Can’t imagine that happening anywhere else!

  39. Reply
    ajenko80   //   November 9th, 2011 at 11:48

    Please don’t tell me the days of 80,000 plus in India are gone. Man I can recall the atmosphere during Australia’s tour to India in 2001; the series was fantastic and the crowds unbelievable. Please please India we need you guys to invest in the longer form of the game; please do not devalue it by employing these kind of tactics!

  40. Reply
    Punjaaabi Uncle   //   November 9th, 2011 at 11:53

    Ritesh – Next time you need tickets call me.

  41. Reply
    V   //   November 9th, 2011 at 11:55

    How on earth am I going to manage without tablet?
    I have to take one every day.

  42. Reply
    A different Pete   //   November 9th, 2011 at 12:19

    Quite genuinely, I have taken tablet into the Oval loads of times, and never raised an eyebrow.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tablet_%28confectionery%29

  43. Reply
    Barmy Army   //   November 9th, 2011 at 12:21

    What a pathetic situation in India. In England, we get at 20,000/25,000 crowds on most days of Test cricket — this despite having a population of only about 45 million and cricket being the no. 2 sport well behind football. Plus the ticket prices are 70 pounds.

    I think cricket is no where near as popular in India as the media would like you to believe. I have a few Indian friends, and all of them much prefer watching Premier League football than Indian cricket matches. Cricket is dying a slow and painful death in India.

    • Rahul   //   November 12th, 2011 at 13:02

      this is not true..cricket is easily the most sport popular in india.you cant decide on the popularity based on the stadium attendances.almost 10 million people watched it on the bcci tv website and almost everyone i know follow cricket.for world cup the website that sold the tickets crashed.

    • Vivek   //   November 12th, 2011 at 13:06

      Cricket is massively popular in india..average attendance for an ipl game is around 55000 and we have around 4 24 hour channels dedicated just for cricket.i have never watched a match in a stadium but i watch most of them on tv and iam a massive cricket fan.there are many cricket fans like me so you cant judge the popularity of cricket on the stadium attendance

  44. Reply
    jonty   //   November 9th, 2011 at 12:25

    Reasons for poor turn out during the recently concluded Kotla test could be one or more of the following reasons.
    1) No followers for TEST cricket
    2) Huge responsibility (or blame it) on players like Sehwag who can lift the interest level if he is consistent in scoring runs, he is too unpredictable. Gayle would have definitely made a big difference. Hayden and Gilchrist were consistently playing good knocks and today you hardly find players of that caliber.
    3) IPL impact
    4) Vey dull looking and boring senior players, which viewers would not prefer to watch their batting style and the rate in which they score runs. Remember, even Sachin is not an interesting test batsmen (definitely not compared to his playing days in 90’s and early part of last decade). He has been playing cautiously and not many will be excited to watch him play. Sachin’s 100th 100 is not a great feat compared to many other achievements in the past which lured the spectators. After all Sachin is a run making machine. Machines produce goods when it is switched on irrespective of the situation when it is really required. Sometimes it produces more even when it is not required. Sachin scores more when it is not required.
    5) Young players like Kohli, Tiwary, Pujara should be given more chance mainly against weak teams like west indies.
    6) The quality of the opponents. Gayle
    7) The Kotla pitch had witnessed some of the great and interesting events like Kumble’s 10 for, India Australia match in 2001 and many many more. So it is the players who made/makes the game interesting and not the spectators.

  45. Reply
    vikram   //   November 9th, 2011 at 18:27

    This is unfortunately the story of every cricket fan in Delhi. The Box office does not open on match days due to security issues ( there have been stampedes in the past). Most of the tickets are given away as complimentary and the DDCA does not have a genuine need to sell tickets as tickets sales form a very minor proportion of their income.

    The tickets are always available with a friendly blackmarketeer in the area.. ( To be fair the bank branch where the tickets are sold is barely 200 meters away , but yeah why not sell the tickets at the box office )

    The DDCA did one good thing this year by putting the tickets on sale on an online website. This did make life easy for the web savvy cricket fan, but yes, i do agree that if they have empty stands, they should let people buy tickets at the box office

  46. Reply
    dinoochand   //   November 9th, 2011 at 18:36

    There is a convoluted reason why DDCA does not want the seats filled.

    Each match the DDCA gives away almost half the tickets to its members for the members stands.
    AFter this DDCA office bearers give away high denomination tickets to friends , business partners , politicians as business favours.

    Now the court clamped down on these complimentary give away’s and the DDCA justified its give aways by saying that there was not much demand for tickets anyways considering they hardly sell any tickets. ( not counting the fact that DDCA hardly puts any tickets for sale, the sales start late and are at obscure places ).

    anyways, the need to show the courts that complimantary tickets are justified , is one of the biggest reason that DDCA leaves empty seats.

  47. Reply
    Rajiv   //   November 10th, 2011 at 14:48

    The BCCI and its associations are f*%$%d up. There is no justification for their efforts to keep Test matches unattended. They need to improve their act, but would they? Very unlikely, for they’re making shiploads of money from TV deals. However, I’ll say this, without in any way wishing to blame the writer… That he seems to have just recently landed in India, for he was completely clueless about how things are at Indian grounds. This story has a feel of wide-eyed incredulity that would have been more credible coming from a (poor) foreign visitor. I’m NOT saying he didn’t go through all this.
    But yes, no defence for DDCA/BCCI officials. They deserve to be kicked out of cricket administration.

  48. Reply
    Sashank   //   November 15th, 2011 at 12:43

    Watching cricket at the stadium is a pain in India. Even if you manage to cut through all the obstacles that Ritesh mentioned – there is little comfort inside the stadium. The seating is bad and overcrowded, the crappy refreshments available are incredibly overpriced and the restrooms are downright disgusting. The local associations should really make some attempt to provide minimum comfort to the spectators.

    Almost every cricket fan in India is aware of this. So it becomes a cost benefit analysis of whether putting up with all this crap is worth the spectacle. Not to degrade WI but I think the opposition being WI took the zeal out of the spectator. If it was Australia, I would imagine it’d be full. Pakistan and it’d be riot inside and outside the stadium.

    Having said that, I appreciate Ritesh pointing out all the unnecessary hoops that the DDCA puts its spectators through but he was a admittedly a little naive if he imagined that he could just drive up to the stadium without tickets and walk in with a tablet in his pocket. In an ideal world he should be able to do it. And I agree it’s just a tablet and not a bomb but sadly, it is the current state of affairs in India and as someone else mentioned the real hardcore fans somehow manage to grin and bear it and plan ahead.

Discussion Area - Make an appeal

Comment RSS | TrackBack URL

What we mostly seem to write about

Archives

Cricket history