Just over a fortnight ago people were ready to buy over-priced tickets to watch them in the IPL. Many of those big names, and former Pakistan skipper Shoaib Malik, are featuring in the Lala Raghubir cricket tournament in the heart of the capital, but they have only their teammates or organisers to cheer them.
On Tuesday, over half-a-dozen players who figured in the IPL were in action for their respective clubs at the Modern School in central Delhi, but despite free entry few bothered to drop in to cheer them.
“It is one of oldest cricket tournaments in the city but some how spectators are missing,” said the father of a player.
The known faces who took the field included Manvinder Bisla, the Kolkata Knight Riders' hero in the final, his IPL team mates Rajat Bhatia and Pradeep Sangwan, Eklavya Diwedi from Pune Warriors and Ajit Chandila from Rajasthan Royals.
Surprisingly, the organisers were happy there were no fans. “We don't promote the tournament to attract crowds because the matches are played in the school and we don't want any trespassers who can create problems,” said tournament official DP Singh.
Of course, the summer heat made sure the organisers won't be harassed by fans.