Ranji trophy is on please...!    - The New Indian Express

Ranji trophy is on please...!   

Published: 14th November 2012 10:25 AM

Last Updated: 14th November 2012 10:25 AM

The following for the national team is interpreted, or misinterpreted if you like, as being that for cricket itself.
 Time and again this statement has been made and a holy truth lies buried under a mountain of untruths.
 But this is laid bare when the national cricket championships for the Ranji Trophy or the inter-zonal championships for the Duleep Trophy, which are four or five day games, are organised at various places.
 Whether the venue is Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Delhi or Bangalore makes no difference.
 All these cities have stadiums which are Test centres and all of them without exception wear a haunted-house look.
 The stands are appallingly empty.
 And mind you, there are no tickets.
 The very people who turn up in thousands to watch the Indian team play against other teams are simply not bothered about the domestic tournaments.
 Quite shockingly, the Wankhede Stadium was empty despite Sachin Tendulkar turning out for Mumbai vs Railways.
 He went on to score his 79th first class century and except for a few die-hards, there was none to cheer him.
 Sachin Tendulkar is cricket’s most prolific scorer.
 It is a pity that people don’t go to watch him even for free.
 And many would have us believe that cricket is the most popular sport in the country.
 If you don’t go to watch Tendulkar in action, who else will you go to watch? If Tendulkar cannot draw crowds, who on cricketing earth can? The situation was the same in Delhi and Chennai.
 It won’t be different when Bangalore hosts Karnataka’s game vs Orissa.
 The scenario does not change even when domestic limited overs games like the Challenger Series is played.
 Yet, cricket is the most popular sport? No way.
 This crowd behaviour clearly proves that the following is only for the national team and not for cricket as is being made out to be.
 Another telling fact to prove this was established when India hosted the World Cup matches.
 All or most non-India matches, even between Australia and other six nations, saw empty galleries.
 It’s time the BCCI stopped organising domestic cricket in big cities.

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