Chennai provided evidence on Sunday, when holders Chennai Super Kings and New South Wales Blues took a break. Although Cape Cobras of South Africa turned up for the nets, neither the local media nor the media managers were in attendance, which is hardly the case when big cricket tournaments come to India.
“I came here thinking CSK will practice today. I don't even know who all these (Cape Cobras) players are,” said a disappointed fan V Ramesh. Some boys had gathered outside the MA Chidambaram stadium but once they got to know that Dhoni's boys will not come, they left. “We did not have college today so all of us came. But we only know players from Chennai, Mumbai Indians, KKR and RCB and a few big names from other teams. So it seems to be a waste of effort,” said Rajiv, an Indian Institute of Technology student in Chennai.
Even the security men let their guard down. “It is easy for us as none of the Indian players are here for practice. Otherwise, in this year's World Cup and IPL we had to work very hard to control the crowd even during practice sessions.”
Most of the people to whom HT asked did not even know the number of teams in the fray for the Champions League -- something that should have the sponsors worried.