Friday, November 25, 2011

Sachin, Sachin ranting the air – Wankhede ; and Joginder injured.

The Sports facility established in 1974 with Garware Pavilion End and Tata End is in news – when radio commentary was the only source, the captivating voice would describe – ‘ Gentlemen, it is a warm sunny day at  …. Left arm over the wicket runs in from…… end with thousands roaring - …. is taking strike’
It is the famous cricket stadium in Mumbai – the  Sheshrao Krushnarao Wankhede Stadium built when there was dispute between  the Cricket Club of India, which owns the Brabourne Stadium, and the Mumbai Cricket Association over the allocation of tickets for cricket matches.  At the initiative of S. K. Wankhede, a politician and the secretary of the Mumbai Cricket Association, MCA built the new stadium in South Mumbai near the Churchgate station. It was built in six months and opened in time for the final Test between India and the West Indies in 1975.  The stadium was recently renovated in the build up to host the 2011 Cricket World Cup, in which India defeated Sri Lanka by 6 wickets.
The venue hosted its first Test match on Jan 1975 – the final match of a tantalizing series of Clive Lloyd’s mighty WI touring India.  The series was 2-2 at that time. West Indies won that match by 201 runs.  Clive Lloyd made 242 and remained not out in the first innings.  India lost Farokh Engineer without scoring (was that his last match ?) – Sunil Gavaskar made a fluent 86 while the best fielder India has ever produced – Eknath Solkar made his only century in that match.  

One would also remember the famous win in the inaugural T20 WC in 2007 – Misbah attempted scoop landing in the hands of Sreesanth at short fine leg would remain frozen in memory of all cricket lovers.
In tune with the recent trends of empty stands, the MCA had made an announcement in advance offering large discounts to the fans. Daily tickets for the Test were priced as low as Rs 50 (East Stand) and season tickets for vantage viewing points like the North Stand (behind the bowler's arm) and the Vithal Divecha Pavilion (midwicket) were slashed to Rs 500 and Rs 600 respectively. The ticket windows were near the ground, making it easier for fans to purchase them.  By contrast the prices were high in the recent One dayer against England and stadium was more than half empty.  Now, crowds have come – not only lured by the pricing strategy but by the expectation of watching a spectre of Sachin’s 100th ton.  The Indian fan is looking forward to that and perhaps it could happen in the pre-lunch session itself !!
-                     --  that last ball in the T20 WC at Johannesburg was bowled by Joginder Sharma,  who rose to prominence with that single over and played for CSK in IPL.  There are reports that he was injured  in a road accident in Delhi this morning but is now stable. He had sustained a head injury in the accident, which required surgery. He is reportedly out of danger.
With regards – S. Sampathkumar

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