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Lacklustre event not in the league of India, IPL games

india Updated: Oct 03, 2011 00:27 IST
Rohit Bhaskar
Rohit Bhaskar
Hindustan Times
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On any given international or IPL match day at the Chinnaswamy stadium, MG Road, which runs parallel to one of the entrances to the venue, will be teeming with people. Fans decked in official merchandise, hawkers trying to make a quick sale, scalpers looking to dispose of precious tickets and security personnel, all vying for space in the claustrophobic environs.

At the Champions League T20 however, the setting is austere. Wide open walking space on the pavements, no waiting in queues to get in, the choice of any seat in the house (The one next to you is invariably empty).

It may have the best teams from the Indian Premier League and other domestic T20 leagues across the world, but going by the dwindling attendance and the players' own admission, CLT20 simply doesn't match up to the thrill of internationals or even the IPL.

Somerset's overseas player, Indian left-arm tweaker Murali Kartik, says: "CLT20 doesn't match up to the IPL or international cricket." Asked why it is being played in front of half-empty grounds, Kartik's take is, "The fans here aren't as familiar with some of the foreign teams. That could be one of the reasons. I'm very surprised, especially by the attendance for the matches in Bangalore."

This year's edition has been rather subdued from the start with many big names, including arguably the biggest draw, Mumbai Indians' Sachin Tendulkar, pulling out due to injury. Coming on the back of India's embarrassing tour of England probably hasn't help matters either.