Fans sending out right signal to administrators
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Fans sending out right signal to administrators

The explanation that it was the festival season that was keeping people away does not wash, as one has in the past seen stadiums teeming with people even when matches were held on Diwali day. Pradeep Magazine writes.

columns Updated: Oct 29, 2011 01:50 IST
Pradeep Magazine
Pradeep Magazine
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India's spectacular triumph may not have been unexpected, given its near invincible record at home, though England's listless and bland display certainly was. This just goes to show that conditions play a big role in deciding the result of a match.

India at home, that too in one-day cricket, is a team which rarely knows what defeat means. It is a team comprising a young, bubbling, exuberant, confident bunch, which believes any odds can be overcome, as long as the wicket favours them.

The real test comes when a team does well in alien conditions, a test that India flunked in England and England in India. From a statistical viewpoint, one can safely say India has paid back England in the same coin, though the stains of a Test series washout would be difficult to wipe out.

This one-day series threw up a couple of promising possibilities that augur well for the future. At the same time, it threw up one question that administrators should respond to immediately if they want the sport to remain in the consciousness of the Indian public.

Nothing fires a fan's imagination more than watching two raw pacemen hurl the ball at searing speed and make the receiver respond with timidity. For India, perennially in search of speedsters, it was terrific to watch Umesh Yadav and Varun Aaron generate consistent pace in the 140s.

Dynamic duo
Umesh, the son of a coalminer and Aaron, a Christian from Karnataka settled in Jharkhand, could well be bowling in tandem in Australia and, who knows, turn out to be match-winners. It is a long call, especially given the number of such promising men having faded out faster than they surfaced.

But there is no doubt that Yadav looks special and could be India's spearhead in Test cricket. Aaron, in comparison, may be too raw and wayward to make an immediate impact, but a few tips from people who know, could well see him hone and perfect his skills.

The most worrisome aspect of this series, for those who want to milk this game to the last ounce, was the poor response it generated from the people.

One can't remember in recent living memory seeing stadiums half-empty in a one-day international. To see vast empty spaces in Wankhede and then in Eden Gardens only means that the overkill of cricket is having its effect and the spectators are finally saying enough is enough.

Stadiums off-colour
The explanation that it was the festival season that was keeping people away does not wash, as one has in the past seen stadiums teeming with people even when matches were held on Diwali day.

Signs of cricket fatigue were visible even in the Champions League when, despite two Indian IPL teams playing the final, the stadium was no where full. It portends well for the game in India if the greedy administrators are made to realise the hard way that they can't take people for granted and force too much cricket down their throat without a break.

It does seem that people are giving a message that we have reached a saturation point and our appetite can be revived only by having itineraries well planned out and matches well spaced out. Cricket administrators, you have been sufficiently warned!

First Published: Oct 29, 2011 01:46 IST