Sunday, May 29, 2011

IPL4 Finals – the traffic chaos outside Chepauk Stadium and the Indian connection to Cardiff.


From today on there is no IPL – it all ended yesterday and what will the cricket crazy Nation do ?.  In the end, not many complained of too many matches or a very lengthy schedule – when there were 74 matches – 17 more than the Inaugural, 1979 and 1983 WC matches put together.  Cardiff is the capital and most populous country of Wales.  Do you know the Indian connection ?   Coming to the finals of the IPL 4 –  In the first 8 overs of CSK innings,  there were no fours – Arvind  was on a hat-trick and so was Chris Gayle  and yet everything in the wishlist of a Chennai fan was fulfilled. 
the fans at Cardiff when it rained

Chennai crowds gathered in huge numbers supporting for CSK – and one could see yellow wave on roads leading to Chepauk.  Before something on the match – there are two issues that need to be addressed by the Nation, BCCI, the Cricket fans and you and Me.

In Western World, night matches are held to attract crowds who would otherwise complete their routine work and enjoy their evening / night on the ground, especially on a week end.  In this cricket crazy Nation, for a match at 8 pm, people start gathering around right from 16 hrs.
Issue No. 1 :  TN is reeling under severe power shortage – is there need for matches in flood light wasting so much of precious energy.  Don’t tell that they run on alternate power & so on….
Issue No. 2 :  Chepauk is in the heart of Chennai closer to Marina beach.  Huge crowds throng the beach now a days as escape from oppressive Chennai heat.  There are more than a dozen routes that run from Anna Square via Triplicane – Bells Road where Chepauk stadium lies.  The Police starts regulating the traffic from 5 pm on IPL days and from 0530/0545 pm, the traffic is halted on this busy road.  The plight of those commuters is seen to be believed.  Old and ailing persons have to wait for hours and find it so difficult to get buses for reaching their destination simply because there is IPL match.
The buses are then diverted through Triplicane High Road.  The present day Bharathiyar Salai (Pycrofts Road)  has shrunk to a lane and the bus drivers find it so difficult to drive in this.  Besides the intersection of Pycrofts / Triplicane High Road (near Rathna Café) is narrow and those drivers who turn their buses into the TH Road really merit awards. 

In minutes, the situation turns chaotic with so many vehicles bustling for space and the police cop finds it so difficult to bring a semblance of order.  There are hospitals on this road and imagine the plight of the patients !
Actually, the cars and other vehicles that try to reach Chepauk should be denied entry on the busy roads; they should park their vehicles elsewhere and reach the stadium.  Or the Venue needs to be shifted to OMR or someother place – the popularity of the game would anyway attract people who are prepared to spend any amount to see their starts play !

In stark contrast, the reality at England was different.  At Cardiff – Sri Lankans are playing England in Test no. 1994 – the first Test in the Series  and the attendance is so thin.   Glamorgan first played at Sophia Gardens, Cardiff, against the Indian touring team in May 1967, but it was not until nearly three decades later that it officially became the county's home. For the major part three quarters, CSK went on rampage without losing a wicket and only the oppressive heat brought Vijay down.   

Dwayne Bravo faced the hat trick ball and struck it straight over for a six and CSK set a target of 205 which only Gayle could have chased.  This was the  third highest in IPL 2011, and the highest in finals.  The first wicket partnership was 159  - in the first power play 56 came.  Eventually a tired Murali Vijay who was clearly struggling to stand in the heat, lifted a full toss to Vettori making 95 off 52 balls with 6 sixers and walking away with the MOM majestically.  The nonchalant flicks and the one guide that bisected point were a treat to watch. 
only the heat could down Vijay

Ashwin was given the new ball – the first one turned viciously and Gayle watched the second cautiously.  The third took the edge, which Dhoni neatly accepted and the RCB’s fate was sort of sealed.  There after there was not much of resistance.  CSK won by a thumping margin of 58 runs and the result was foregone conclusion throughout the RCB chase.  It was a day nothing went right for RCB or rather everything went right for Dhoni & CSK.

B u t  -  what will we do from today onwards !!

Regards – S. Sampathkumar.

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