Are we a cricket crazy nation?July 30, 2012, 7:46 pm
Yes, we are one and we can prove this beyond any doubt, when matches are played in Colombo and to some extent at Pallekelle too but definitely not in Hambantota, where rows and rows of empty chairs are exposed to the whole world through sport channels. Either those in Hambantota are not interested in cricket or they cannot afford the ticket, while those in Colombo haven’t got the time to travel all the way down south. At the last day/night match played at Hambantota between India and Sri Lanka we saw hundreds of young school girls in uniforms, especially, herded in to cover the shame of thousands of empty chairs being exposed. Viewers of the match on TV would have definitely seen the difference when there was a change of venue – this time in Colombo. There was a packed stadium for the identical teams, proving our craze for this gentleman’s game, to the world. Locating new arenas for cricket in places where it cannot attract crowd is a white elephant. We cricket fans would like to know the statistic of attendance for the last half a dozen ODI matches played in venues in Colombo, Pallekelle and Hambantota. Seeing empty chairs on TV when international matches are being played is really embarrassing for all cricket fans. No doubt, it is an embarrassment for the whole country too. I wonder how SLC could recover the cost of staging a match in places where patronage is absolutely discouraging. Did SLC have any feasible study done before constructing new grounds at enormous cost? We are yet to see an ODI played in Galle, which is exclusively allocated for Test matches only, for reason not known. Then we note a sudden abandonment of Dambulla, another ground cost a fortune for SLC. No wonder it is in a financial crisis forever.
S. H. Moulana
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Last Updated May 22 2013 | 10:58 pm