There’s just a week to go for the ICC Cricket World Cup, but the Capital still seems to be sleeping over it. There’s hardly any noise about the tournament in movie halls, restaurants, on TV and the streets, even as it is taking place in the subcontinent this year.
The quiet run-up has left citywallahs wondering. “Clubs in town went gaga the last time the Cup happened in 2007, in the West Indies. And now, even when it’s happening here, there’s no action!” says cricket buff Vinny Sen.
Popular hangouts have their reasons. “We have not planned any special screenings yet, as the public interest levels don’t seem high,” says Amit Bhatnagar of F Bar and Lounge. “Right now, we’re busy with V-Day fever. But we will be planning World Cup specials soon,” says Saurabh Khanijo of Poison Ivy and Kylin.
Even shopping hotspots and cinemas haven’t warmed up to the scene. “I went to the Fila and Adidas stores and even skimmed Sarojini and Janpath, but there’s no World Cup merchandise!” says Samarth Sharma, a cricket fan. Yogesh Raizada of Waves Cinemas, says, “We have no World Cup screenings this time because there was only 10% occupancy when we screened IPL matches last year.”
The junta, too, doesn’t seem kicked up about the Cup yet, with no slogans and cricket goss doing the rounds, and barely anyone in the mood to flaunt cricket-inspired fashion. “No one’s wearing the Cup on their sleeve. I haven’t seen a single cricket-type tee on campus yet,” says Ragini Singh of Delhi University. Raizada reasons, “So much of cricket is happening back to back (IPL is scheduled in April) that people have lost the craze for the Cup.” Staunch followers, however, stand by the Cup. “IPL is all marketing hype. This is the real thing,” says Rajan Wadhwa.
The ball is set to roll...
The ICC Cricket World Cup, to be held in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh this year, takes off on February 19.
Delhi will play host to four matches — South Africa vs West Indies (Feb 24), WI vs Netherlands (Feb 28 ), Canada vs Kenya (Mar 7), and India vs Netherlands (Mar 9), all at the Ferozshah Kotla stadium.