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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

kyaZoonga crashes .............. Sachin's swansong at Wankhede

We love statistics and attach significance to landmarks…. ~ and swansongs !

In Chattisgarh - 67 percent of the 29,33,200 voters in the Naxal-affected Bastar region and Rajnandgaon district on Monday exercised their franchise in the first phase of  assembly elections, where violence by Naxals who have called for a poll boycott, left a CRPF jawan dead. Elsewhere, at Rohtak, Padma Shri awardee and legendary athlete Milkha Singh is expected to flag off the mini-marathon 'Run for the Girl Child' being organised by the Indian Institute of Management, Rohtak, (IIM-R) on Sunday. Rohtak and more particularly Lahli made news recently for different reasons. 

Sachin Tendulkar plays his final Test in Mumbai, he will rightly be applauded for his entire body of work. The 200 Tests, the 51 centuries and the countless memories scattered like confetti across the world. But like any body of work, it is not of uniform quality. Some years, like those of fine wines, are better than others.  By the numbers, the two-year period from 1 January 2009 to 31 December 2010 is Tendulkar’s tour de force. He averaged 75.10 with nine hundreds and eight fifties from 32 innings with top score of 214. Seven of those hundreds came in 2010 alone, when he made 1562 runs – the most he would ever score in a calendar year – at the staggering average of 78.10.  [this part courtesy :]  ~ we dissect and  get enjoyment in little nuggets. 

In earlier decades be it Clive Lloyds WI against the brilliant Gundappa Vishwanath (97 no) or be it Narendra Hirwani’s debut 16 for … at Chepauk – all had one thing in common………… the ticket sales would be on a few days before the match – there will be huge crowds standing in line – and on the day, we used to go very early in the morning – the first batch would chose the best spot for viewing, the next group would come with refreshment and food for all – it would be a carnival watching 5 day test with a rest day…………  things have  changed not only in the way games are played – more so, in the manner the marketing is done and tickets are sold.

Sachin Tendulkar apart from being the best batsmen has been the greatest source for marketing …………… the  story goes that free passes for Sachin Tendulkar’s last Ranji Trophy match, largesse from Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda to his political clientele, were freely traded for cash. Some went for Rs 10,000 apiece. It was just a Ranji match, which otherwise would have passed off in front of less than hundreds turning out these days.  ~ and the story goes that the Lahli Stadium emptied no sooner the master took just seven balls to be bowled by rookie Mohit Sharma.

Euphoria is already being orchestrated by the media that test at Wankhede specially arranged – his 200th is his swansong…..  the marketing hype ensures that no  pulp is left in the lemon, even  by Tendulkar’s own exalted standards and are pitching this match as the blockbuster.

Sure, the way tickets are sold has changed totally., Mumbai Cricket Association's official ticketing partner claimed to have notched a stupendous 19.70 million hits within an hour of the opening of ticket sales for Sachin Tendulkar's 200th and final Test match, an official said on Monday.  ~ and the server crashed ………… leaving millions of fans disappointed.  Several cricket fans eager to catch Sachin Tendulkar in action in his 200th and final Test Match were on Monday indignant after, which was to sell tickets for the November 14 match against the West Indies, went blank. The online entertainment and sports ticketing company was to open its counters at 11 a.m. But the website appeared to have crashed immediately after and remained inaccessible for the rest of the day. Denying that its site had crashed, however, claimed transactions had slowed down because of an unprecedented surge in traffic, with 19.7 million hits received in the first hour alone. The tickets are priced at Rs.500, Rs.1,500 and Rs.2,500. Frustrated fans gathered outside the Wankhede stadium, seeking information from the authorities, amid police security. There were many who travelled overnight to Mumbai in their quest for tickets expecting MCA to open out counters.

There is news that out of the 30,000-strong seating capacity for the match at the Wankhede, only 5,000 tickets have been made available to the public, the rest being allocated to cricket clubs, government agencies and sponsors.  There is nothing left to imagination over there as to what happens to the rest…..

This is not the first time for Kyazoonga or Cricket fans…… in Feb 2011, during World Cup – the website which was the  online partner was found out of place as it crashed unable to bear the traffic.  Hanging in cyberspace may not be an entirely new experience for many of us but this would have more frustrating and different.

Sachin attracts crowds to venues, places where he goes – as also websites……… in 2006, he visited a temple in a small village in the Western Ghats of Karnataka -  Kukke Subramanya temple, about 100 KM from Mangalore. It was to be a private visit to  the temple to perform poojas and seek divine blessings.   Even though, he wanted to keep his visit a secret, the news was leaked and spread like a wildfire. Thousands of Sachin fans from neighbouring areas made a beeline to Kukke Subramanya to see him  - and fans World over started searching for this temple on the web.  As a result, the website of the temple  saw over 17 lakh hits in a day  leading to a server crash.

Getting back the Ranji match between Mumbai and Haryana was played at Bansi Lal stadium,  Lahli, Rohtak in Oct 2013 ~  played in front of capacity crowds –in the 1st innings it was low scoring match and Sachin remained unbeaten to ensure a victory – that being his last Ranji appearance ………… there were capacity crowds.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

12th Nov. 2013.

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