Lack of tribute to the "real" cricket fans..

Monday, December 21, 2009

History was created at Eden Gardens! The 146 year-old stadium still had something new to offer and to my surprise or rather shock, it involved the disappointment of the fanatic crowd that resides in Kolkata. For the first time here, NO tickets were sold. The fourth ODI between India and Sri Lanka saw a bleak crowd of 42000 people vis-a-vis the 95000 (and much more) capacity of the stadium. Two stands of Eden Gardens are undergoing a renovation so that the capacity be increased much in time for the World Cup. Digressing a little here is a little FYI about Eden Gardens which I bet hardly anyone knew, including me..

The then Governor General Lord Auckland had two beautiful sisters - Emily and Funny Eden. India being an alien country, Lord Auckland wanted his sisters to grow up in an atmosphere of unfettered joy in the lap of nature. With this in mind, he earmarked the present day Eden Gardens consisting of not only the Cricket stadium but also the indoor stadium, the All India Radio building and the Burmese pagoda for them to enjoy. It was a huge parkland and the Eden sisters nurtured this garden with utmost care and devotion. Alas! All good things have to come to an end and once Lord Auckland's tenure as Governor General came to an end, the Eden sisters with a tinge of sadness gracefully presented the magnificent Eden Gardens as befitting gift to the people of Kolkata.

The constant hooting, the perfectly synchronized "Mexican" Waves (believe me it's an art!), the curses, the smiles, the nervousness is all part of this ordeal. The action is as much off the pitch as on the pitch. A cricket fanatic, a novice, an uninterested all find joy under the wing of Eden Garden as its not about the cricket anymore.. its about the passion, the team spirit, the support, the nation. Cricket is a religion and the cricketers Gods.. don't believe it? The stadium will compel you to!

Anyway so who were the privileged 40, 000? The tickets were distributed to the members and the affiliated clubs. It paid to be hoighty-toighty (I agree that it mostly does anyway!). Tch.. Tch.. what a pity.. The air must have been different with hardly any fanatics, with the stands not on fire, with the crowd not beating each other up and the players for once relaxed that they would not be hit by plastic bottles, sharp articles and mental blows!



Capt A.Nagaraj Subbarao said...


Nice piece ( the blog ). The Eden Gardens was one of my first stops at Kolkata. The ground is brilliant, but my first impression, standing at the pitch was, how could this ground accomodate 90000 people?

Eden Gardens, is a a little dicey because the evening mist drifts in from the nearby Hoogly getting the ball to 'swing'.

It is this mist or fog that would give me sleepless nights in navigating the Hoogly in winter.Visibility would be next to zero and we would be on tenterhooks.

Thanks for the history, Eden sisters & all. Were they pretty?

See, I manage to give a nautical twist to everything!

Radhika said...

This ground easily sports a crowd of more than 1 lakh in every match.

As a non-marine person, I quite enjoyed the mist and fog during winters. The fog atleast reminded us that we were to enjoy this part of the season!

Pretty, my guess is that even if they were not historians would like to believe the reverse! :)