India vs South Africa: Only 4% tickets sold at the JSCA for the third Test
The President of JSCA Nafis Khan alluded that the association might think of shying away from hosting Test matches in the future.
Updated - Oct 18, 2019 6:16 pm
When it was announced that Sourav Ganguly will be taking over as the President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), fans rejoiced in unison. ‘Finally! They have someone who they can expect to bring about a change’. It is true that India is the No.1 ranked Test side in the world.
It is also true that they have turned into mean ruthless juggernaut in home conditions under their inspirational skipper. A skipper who time and again mentions his love for Test cricket. But it is equally true that Virat and his team have been steamrolling visiting sides in front of near-empty stadiums.
Case in Point: The second Test at the MCA Stadium in Pune. On a day when Virat Kohli was breaking a plethora of records, a day where he notched up his career-best score of 254 not out, only 4,000 odd people were there to witness it live. Unfortunate! Isn’t it? But, as unfortunate as it sounds, the fact that even 4000 people turned up to witness the match where they were exposed to the enormity of the sun courtesy uncovered stands, and not even allowed to carry drinking water, goes to show how much the people of this country love this game.
But Indian cricket can’t take them for granted. The fans are the jewel in the crown of Indian cricket. It is their passion, their obsession for the game that has made cricket the stand that it is today. And, the signs are beginning to show. Disappointed with the apathy of administrators and their inability to enhance the fan-viewing experience, people are turning their back from the longer format of the game.
With 1500 tickets sold for the third Test, JSCA mulling over not hosting Tests in future
The JSCA International Stadium in Ranchi is all set to the third Test between India and South Africa. And, not even 4% of the tickets have been sold at a stadium boasting of a capacity of 39,000. Until 24 hours prior to the start of the Test, only 1500 tickets were sold despite them being priced as low as Rs 250/day. The Jharkhand Cricket Association was vying for a major embarrassment but for the 15,000 “complimentary tickets” distributed to CRPF officials and schools.
The President of JSCA Nafis Khan alluded that the association might think of shying away from hosting Test matches in the future but also admitted that such move will prove to be detrimental to the future of the purest format of the game. Khan also asserted that certain changes needed to made to Test cricket, pointing towards the staging of Day/Night Test matches.
“Next time, maybe we have to think twice before hosting a Test match. At the same time, we can’t say no also. If the state associations start rejecting Test cricket, the purest form of the game would die. It’s very sad to see empty stands. We have to make certain changes to the Test format,” said Nafis Khan as quoted by the Indian express.
Interestingly, BCCI President Sourav Ganguly has also likened Day/Night Tests as the future of the game. But, with the players alleging that the Pink ball went soft after the trials in the Duleep Trophy during the night plus considering that the dew factor also comes into play in the Indian conditions, Day/Night Tests do not look a distinct possibility. Amidst all the pressing issues that Sourav needs to address, this one has top billing, and it will interesting to see what measures he takes to bring the fans back to the game.