Empty stands as Pakistan take on Australia in the Test series opener in Dubai
The turnout by no means looks to be a perfect advert for Test cricket.
Published - Oct 7, 2018 6:35 pm | Updated - Oct 7, 2018 6:35 pm
There were unlikely scenes on the opening day of the first Test between Pakistan and Australia at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium in Dubai as very few spectators turned up for the Test match. It was disturbing to see the lost interests of the crowd in the longest format of the illustrious sport.
This is Australia’s first Test series after the ball-tampering scandal in their last series against South Africa in whites. Ever since the awful incident in March, the Australian team and the players have received a hostile reception especially ahead of the Test series in Dubai. This might also be one of the major reasons for the zero-crowd turnout in Dubai.
In one of the other irresponsible incident at the ground, it was disappointing to see the organizers erecting the Kiwi flag instead of the Australian flag. This act at the ground received a lot of flak at the social media before the mistake was rectified by erecting the Australian flag before the start of the match.
Not a good advert for Tests
This turnout by no means looks to be a perfect advert for Test cricket. The declining interests of the viewers in the longest format of the game is a worrying sign for the stakeholders. With Dubai witnessing such a hot weather with temperatures in excess of 40 degrees, also makes it as a factor responsible for the fewer spectators turning up in the stadium to watch the encounter.
This might be a subject of concern for the ICC to rope in new strategies to rediscover public faith in the red-ball format. It becomes highly essential to protect this form of the game else it acts as a discouraging sign for the players to play in front of the empty stands.
In the context of the match, the Australian bowlers have been nearly ineffective in going past the Pakistani top order. The home team had a 222- run opening partnership before Nathan Lyon got the better of Imam-ul-Haq to give his side the first breakthrough in the Test match. However, two successive wickets have slowed down the scoring rate for the hosts.