Indian cricket has the richest sporting body in the cricket world in the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). It is also competing with the richest football clubs in monetary terms. However, the Indian cricket follower is hardly reaping any benefits. In sharp contrast, the follower finds himself/herself in miserable situations. The latest case was the beating up a few cricket fans received from the police. Rediff reports - “Spectators had a harrowing time winding their way through a sea of baton-wielding security personnel, who swung left, right and center, causing grievous injuries to at least a dozen youngsters. A badly bruised boy, shirt soaked in blood, was refused help by a patrolling police van even as people begged to rush him to a nearby hospital.”
Harsha Bhogle pointed out a few years ago in an article that the real shareholders of Indian cricket are the fans. Fans means demand creation. Demand creation means possibility for corporates to sell their products. This in turn brings in money to cricket in general and Indian cricket in general.
However the same person who is responsible for bringing so much money into the game is treated like a foster child. Every step, every aspect sees the Indian cricket fan marginalized. When he wants to go to the stadium to see a match, he has to stand in the line for hours before he can get the precious tickets. This if the black market hasn’t already eaten up his ticket already. Why can a large portion of the tickets not be sold online?
If that doesn’t seem democratic enough or even (scoff) too modern, why not sell the tickets in at least 200 outlets in the city where the match is being held?
The Sunfeast Open at Calcutta, India’s first WTA, even saw advertisements and posters promoting the event and specifically stating at least 20 outlets where tickets for the event were being sold. I could buy the ticket while shopping or eating a sandwich at an outlet of one of the tournament sponsors for instance.
Parking of the car is the next hassle that has to be endured. If I am not in a *clout* and do not manage to get the special sticker for my car, I have to park my car a long distance from the stadium. Then begins the long distance walk towards the stadium. Is this BCCI’s secret plan to promote other sports? For I do not see them supporting other sports in any way. They do not even support the women’s cricket team.