Apart of the sixth edition of the T20 tournament overlapping with Navratri (April 11-19), has put the breaks on cricket fun. The reason — while the Indian domestic league is all about booze parties, food and adrenalin rush, Navratri calls for complete abstinence from all of these, especially non-vegetarian food and liquor.
Restaurants and bars in the city are thus witnessing about a 40-50% drop in footfall.
“Beer is a hot seller during matches but in past two days, there’s hardly been any sale. We’ve seen a 50% dip in overall sales,” says restaurateur Priyank Sukhija of Fork You, Hauz Khas. “We’ve even introduced special vegetarian platters, but still the business is expected to fall by about 40% as people are avoiding eating out,” says Gagan Kapur of Buzz, Saket. Lavpreet Singh of Café Cruise feels that the fall is because during Navratri, people avoid eating at places that serve liquor. Owners of Ciro’s Pomodoro in GK I, and Escape Terrace Bar and Kitchen in Gurgaon also echo similar sentiments.
As a result, many restaurants have postponed their cricket-special offers for customers. “Drinks are the de rigueur of parties, more so for T20 bashes, so we have deferred our promotion till Navratri ends because watching these matches is incomplete without cheering over beer,” says Ishan Gupta of Tivoli Grand Hotel.
Shah Rukh gives Delhi a miss
The ongoing T20 tournament has not been a good one for the Delhi team and its supporters so far. The already distraught fans, who are longing to see players such as Sehwag and Pietersen (who are suffering from injuries) in action, will miss seeing Shah Rukh Khan cheering from the club house at Kotla. The reason — Delhi will play their home game against Kolkata Knight Riders at Chhattisgarh International Cricket Stadium, Raipur, instead of Kotla. “It really is sad that SRK won’t be coming to Delhi this time. He is one of the major highlights of T20,” Tanya, a follower of the league.