Chennai Test fails to draw crowds on first day

Published: Friday, December 12, 2008, 10:06 [IST]
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Low turnout in Chennai disappoints authorities

Chennai: The empty stands at the MA Chidambaram Stadium despite the massive hype around India-England series' first Test in Chennai have left authorities disappointed and concerned about the dwindling spectator interest in cricket's longer version.

The 45,000-capacity M.A. Chidambaram Stadium was just about a quarter full on the first day of the India-England Test match.

The impact of the recent events and the task of going through layers of security would have kept back just a negligible few. The format of the game had the more defining role in the decision to come or not come.

Security personnel studiously encircling the playing area and the occasional announcement cautioning overzealous spectators were the few signs that revealed the current climate.

The stadium attendance and the atmosphere were deserving of the first day of an India-England Test match in which England"s opening batsmen stuttered to 63 runs in the first session; even if things did get better thereafter.

The attendance is more a reflection of the health of Test cricket than the recent happenings. The Champions League, scheduled to take place in the city earlier this month, would have attracted frenzy similar to what one witnessed in May.


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