CLT20 has no takers

CLT20 has no takers
Highlights

For almost a week now, hectic activity was underway inside the stadium with the stands and the ground getting a face-lift so as to be ready for the D-Day.

Dhoni, Kallis in town, yet…

For almost a week now, hectic activity was underway inside the stadium with the stands and the ground getting a face-lift so as to be ready for the D-Day.

Strangely despite it being a cricket-crazy city, the fanfare and an overdose of media blitz that one gets to notice ahead of any extravaganza that also features overseas players is missing this time round.

Hyderabad, more precisely the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium at Uppal, is more or less decked up for giving the perfect ambience to the fans and the players from Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) who clash swords to launch the 2014 edition of Champions League T20.

Somehow the element of excitement and the intoxicating fervour that is symbolic of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is absent.

Taken under any yardstick a showdown between two giants of the shorter formats has to attract houseful collection. Magical names like M S Dhoni, Gautam Gambhir, Jacques Kallis, Ravindra Jadeja, Yusuf Pathan, Dwayne Bravo and Sunil Narine are sure shot crowd-pullers. However, there was no such noticeable enthusiasm when the players turned up for practice in the last two days.

Tickets are available but there are no takers, which should cause worry for the organisers, who were hopeful that the turnout would be pretty large, particularly because the Men in Blue will be playing a competitive event for the first time since the forgettable English tour.

Notwithstanding claims by the panel heading Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) the fact of the matter is that having assumed office barely a week back even they appear clueless about the conduct of the seven-match Hyderabad leg of the extravaganza. Haphazard planning and a lack of coordination is further hampering the preparedness to the extent that the VIP enclosure remains woefully incomplete. Given the circumstances, one wonders if the regulars from tinsel town would be around.

A further blow has been the vagaries of nature and the intermittent rains that have wreaked havoc making the ground, which does not look conducive for the match.

The weatherman has predicted further spells of rains on Wednesday, which could impact the commencement.

Unless, there is a last-minute rush for tickets, there will hardly be any spectator presence irrespective of the reasons for staying from watching their ‘favourite’ cricketers in flesh and blood.

The one positive hope is that Dhoni (who will play one league match here) could still bring the spectators because his popularity has not diminished one bit, and most certainly not in the slam-bang variety.

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