“God Retires”, “Sachin to retire after playing 200th Test”, “Sachin wants to play his last test in Mumbai” – these are a few headlines that one might have come across in the recent past when the Little Master announced his retirement from the pristine Test Cricket. I don’t remember such a
hype being created when Laxman, Dravid retired … I would prefer Dravid or Laxman..
Anyways, the BCCI in response to Sachin’s announcement, decided the venues for his farewell series – Eden Gardens, Kolkata and Wankhede, Mumbai. Both the stadiums are world-class stadiums and great memories of Indian Cricket and World Cricket are attached to them, with Eden Gardens on top.
With the series just over a month away, fans have already started to queue up in large numbers to get the tickets to witness their God for the one final time in his original avatar. Lots of people flocked to see Sachin play against Haryana in the Ranji Trophy match. But there is some serious issues for the aam aadmi as the number of tickets for the mango man is a mere 5-10%
There were some shocking figures that I came across. The Eden Garden, which has a capacity of about 68,000 people has only about 5000 tickets for the common fan ! Out of the total majority tickets given to the Club members, Former Players, State Authorities and other dignitaries.
Wankhede is no less, with a capacity of almost the similar range only around 5000 are put up for sale for the common man. Again the club members and dignitaries taking up most of the tickets. And Sachin himself has 500 tickets which is truly justified and will not be questioned by me or anyone !
My concern is only that, we say Cricket is religion in India and Sachin is God. Then why so few passes for the disciples to see their God ?? I agree that the clubs have tie ups and other issues that don’t entitle them to give away more tickets. But for this very series at least the stadiums must put in place a mechanism to allow more and more fans to come in and watch the Maestro. The VIPs and VVIPs most of the time have witnessed majority of matches. And many times seats might go vacant.
Well, for a real cricket fan, being deprived of a ticket to see his God is near to death situation !