06/10/2008

Test Cricket in India - Is it alive and well?

Two complementary news reports made me question the vigour of Test Cricket in India.

In one report, Boria Majumdar emphatically says India cannot call itself the nerve centre of cricket unless and until cricket lovers throng the stadium to watch Test cricket. In contrast, this morning ‘THE HINDU’ carries a report that the tickets for the Terrace Stand priced at Rs. 1000 per day was sold out within hours.

While the premise that the number of heads in a stadium is an indicator of the games health is debatable, it is also intriguing to hear that the costliest seats – apart from the corporate box has been sold out first.Cricket News Live Online

I believe that both the reports indicate that demographics have changed. People who can take the time out to spend 5 days watch test cricket in India like in other countries. Typically, it is the retired well to do or the nostalgic pensioners who make up the numbers.

Both, Boria Majumdar article and “’THE HINDU’ news report reinforces it.

What do you think about the state of Test cricket in India?

Image by Mikerard

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16 Comments:

Blogger Ravindran said...

Cricket is enjoyable only when people throng the galleries and make it a noisy affair. THose in the higher classes clap nioselessly. Right?

06/10/2008, 07:46  
Blogger Ottayan said...

R,

True, but a cricket aficionado can enjoy a game irrespective of the state or the conditions.

What do you say?

06/10/2008, 10:04  
Blogger Ravindran said...

Mostly on compilmentary tickets.

06/10/2008, 10:32  
OpenID vmminerva said...

Good catch! I don't mind the money or the conditions, it's time that I sometimes may not have. Also, there is a lot of hassle in procuring tickets. The BCCI folks need to iron out these ticket procuring wrinkles - the turn out might be better.

06/10/2008, 10:43  
Blogger Ottayan said...

R,

That is a good one.

If you recall I have said that the number of heads in the stadium is not indication of the health of the game for precisely the same reason.

06/10/2008, 11:53  
Blogger Ottayan said...

VMM,

Apart from time watching a match at the stadium is tedious because of the security.

06/10/2008, 11:54  
Anonymous Homer said...

I think ticket sales is the last thing people should be looking at to gauge the popularity of Test cricket in India.

A better measure would be the advertising revenues and the number of as spots sold by the TV networks during the course of the Test

Cheers,

06/10/2008, 22:13  
Anonymous UTP said...

Some new faces are required...we are all bored with the mediocre performances and excess baggage of greats being carried around...

06/10/2008, 22:25  
Blogger Trideep said...

Ott,
This is an Indo-Aus series. One of the most intriguing series in the last decade.. Hence the interest. I doubt a similar interest in a india v england series.

06/10/2008, 22:40  
OpenID vmminerva said...

@Ott, I have still never watched a match in a stadium. I was hoping for Chennai (against SA), but was travelling. :(

@UTP, are you suggesting that India's 07-08 tour of Aus was mediocre?

@Trideep, the more educated of the mass will follow the Indo-Aus Test series and "purists" (if I could call us that) will still follow the Ind-Eng series. I think there might be just enough of us to make a for a decent rating on TV. The ratings for the Ind-Eng will also depend on how many of the Fab four/five will play. If the big names are missing, it may not be very good news.

06/10/2008, 23:51  
OpenID philip9876 said...

Cricket itself will lose its sheen among the Indian public. People are already moving towards soccer, f1 etc.

5 years on, it will be an even depressing scenario for cricket unless newer and stronger countries emerge in the cricket field (e.g China)

Afterall, how long can India flog a dead horse?

07/10/2008, 07:06  
Blogger Ottayan said...

Homer,

"A better measure would be the advertising revenues and the number of as spots sold by the TV networks during the course of the Test."

I was hoping someone would bring up this point.

That is why I suggested Boria Majumdar is wrong in stating so.

Personally, it is has been ages since I saw a cricket match in a stadium, but I have not missed any of them thanks to TV. I believe it is the same with most of us.

So as you point out the head count at the stadium should not be the basis of estimating Test crickets health in India.

I believe, Test cricket is in rude health.

Cheers.

07/10/2008, 07:14  
Blogger Ottayan said...

UTP,

Yes fresh faces will help. :)

07/10/2008, 07:15  
Blogger Ottayan said...

Philip,

"Afterall, how long can India flog a dead horse?"

Absolutely, bring on the Chinese.:)

07/10/2008, 07:16  
Blogger Ottayan said...

Tri,

You have point there. The popularity of the series could be a factor.

07/10/2008, 07:18  
Blogger Ottayan said...

VMM,

It is not a pleasant experience. However, my experience is limited to the old 'D' stand and a couple days spent in the 'B'(?) stand.:)

07/10/2008, 07:21  

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