Sunday, July 14, 2024

Sad to see empty stands: Dada


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Kolkata: Former India captain Sourav Ganguly on Tuesday joined the growing list of cricketers who expressed their concern about poor crowd turnout in the Eden Gardens and said something needs to be done to so that more people come to watch Test cricket.

The second Test between India and West Indies yesterday began with less than a thousand spectator in attendance, a pitiful sight for a historical venue where in the past more than a lakh people would come to witness a cricket match.

Shocked to see the poor response for the match, former English captain and now commentator Tony Greig likened Eden Gardens to that of a “morgue”, while Indian stalwart Rahul Dravid echoed on the same lines, saying the old “magic” was missing.

“It was sad to see an empty Eden Gardens. Something seriously needs to be done to get the crowd back,” said Ganguly, who plays for Bengal in Ranji Trophy, on the sidelines of today’s practice.

With crowd turn out dwindling for Tests, the ICC is currently toying with the idea of having floodlit Test matches but Ganguly felt day-night games cannot be an option.

“In the subcontinent conditions where there is dew towards the evening, I don’t think day-night would be an option. But Test format is mother of cricket and we got to find a solution to it,” he said indicating proper planning and scheduling of Test cricket.

During the first day’s play, VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid recreated their old magic of 2001 Test against Australia when they forged a 140-run partnership but Ganguly said the epic 376-run stand in 2001 would remain classical ever.

“It will remain one of the memorable partnerships. But yesterday Dravid played well putting India in a strong position.” (PTI)


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