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October 10, 2008




This season gives India the perfect opportunity to bring about the generational change - we play Oz, England and Pakistan - the sentimental series' if you will. Then we go to New Zealand - the unfinished business series if you will.

And then there is a 6 month hiatus before India play SL at home. Which is the perfect launch pad to inaugurate India's next gen.

And in the meantime, we have an entire season of domestic cricket running parallel to the various series listed above which provide the perfect finishing school for the younglings to fine tune their skills for the coming season.


D.S. Henry

Maybe you're right, Homer, but doesn't every season look kind of like that? Isn't there always a 'sentimental series', and an 'unfinished business series' (the India never seems to finish a lot of its business), and a competitive domestic series running parallel, where a lot of the players who should be in the national squad get older and more jaded?

Maybe this times it's different. We'll see.

Samir Chopra

"Without the Ashes, there is no cricket"? Really? Why? Do you mean "no test cricket between England and Australia"?

D.S. Henry

No, Samir, unfortunately what I mean is that I don't think Test cricket would last much longer if there were no Ashes rivalry anymore. Australia and England are the only two teams that seem to fill cricket Test grounds anymore. None of the others get even close. You saw the crowds at Bangalore...

Samir Chopra

Had India bowled out Australia cheaply on the first day and then Dravid and SRT had put on 150 at a cracking pace on the second day, you'd have seen much larger crowds. Trust me. Folks back home tend to back winning horses. Calcutta still gets very large crowds for tests as does Chennai and Mumbai (Delhi is a little behind in this regard). BTW, comparing English crowds to Indian ones is misleading - their grounds are smaller.

D.S. Henry

That sounds like a lot of "if"s just to get some bums on seats, Samir. IF there's an Aussie collapse, IF Tendulkar is carving, IF they get the day off from work, IF...

I hope you're right, though, and it does get better for the later Tests, for the sake of Test cricket.

Samir Chopra

DS: My only point is that low attendance at a test in India simply means the home team isn't doing as well. It doesn't mean folks aren't interested in test cricket at all. So the low attendance is a contingent fact about test cricket in India. Attendance in England is higher, yes, as it is in Australia. But those countries have not provided as much alternative international cricket in the form of one-dayers. Given limited purchasing power amongst the spectators, when they have a choice of what to go see, they might plonk down those rupees to see a one-day instead.

But I'm not going to dispute your central point, which is that test cricket needs to do well in India. And that it needs better, more sympathetic handling by the BCCI.



I was running some numbers - in a day's play there are 90 overs. So roughly 90 ad spots. Adding another 15 spots for drinks, tea and lunch, we have 105 ad spots a day ( and these are conservative numbers).

105 *5 = 525 ad spots.

And they all get sold every match.Despite not being available on National TV.

A 40,000 people capacity stadium is half full when the Australians are batting on a weekday - 20,000 people watching live cricket in the most unfriendly stadiums ( from a spectator POV).

If these numbers cannot stem the decline of Test cricket, then Test cricket deserves a decent burial.


D.S. Henry

I'm not sure I understand your point, Homer. Is the fact that ad spots were sold out during the match a sign of strength for Test cricket? Aren't they always sold out, though, in advance? (It then becomes a matter of who they're sold to, and for how much.)

Who knows, maybe I am being a little alarmist (and Samir, you're right, it can be a little misleading to compare crowds/stadiums in England to Indian ones directly)... we should wait to see what the rest of the series brings.


My point is that there are buyers for the ad spots..And if Test Cricket was not able to draw in the eyeballs,what explains the buyers?



Samir Chopra

I hadn't thought about that stat Homer. 20,000 on a weekday with the tourists batting. And in bloody uncomfortable stadiums. I think we'll see bigger crowds at the games from now on. The Aussies are in town, and we have a chance of winning.

Samir Chopra

Mind you, Mohali looks pretty empty right now :)


Well, Australia shouldn't be so quick to say to write off winning in India. I think they are a bit negative about it in talking up how long the drought in India was.


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