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My IPL experience
I have always had interest in Cricket since childhood, influenced by my mother, probably. I remember watching a lot of matches on TV, till the last ball is bowled experiencing the adrenaline rush in nail-biting matches, but never went to the stadium to watch it directly until recently, a couple of weeks back.
I was quite thrilled to watch the match with a gang of friends and family, but was quite appalled at the ticket rates! It was quite atrocious. When we reached the stadium, I was shocked to see a sea of people waiting in queues, moving around in search of their entry gate, although I knew that the seating capacity was around 50,000 and being a weekend, each ticket would have been sold out.
As we entered and got ourselves seated, I forgot all about the heat, crowd and got ready to cheer my city's team. My brother then passed me some plastic tube like things that when hit together produces a strange metallic sound. The six of us alone had around 20 such things, leave alone other plastic head gear etc. Guys sitting behind us hit those metallic sounding things right inside our ears and it got really irritating beyond a level.
The amount of plastic waste produced at the end of each match must be enough to cover the whole field in multiple layers. It was really shocking to see the litter all around. The cleaning after match should be such a humongous and tedious task. The match by itself was entertaining enough, what is the need for all those plastic stuff, I don't really know!
It is very atrocious to have a rule which bans the viewers from carrying even water inside the stadium. We had to buy even water, leave alone other snack items which were more than thrice the cost outside. Atrocious money making done in every form!
T20 match itself got boring beyond a limit. I wonder how people sit through test matches in the stadium. Luckily, our stand was not facing the setting sun and hence we were spared from the scorching heat of Chennai. Thousands and thousands of people seemed to enjoy the experience with Mexican Wave and other forms of celebration. Though it was indeed interesting to watch the match Live from the stadium, the experience on the whole was very disturbing for me.
Hundreds of people seemed to use the opportunity of such matches to make money - autorikshaws, small shops selling water outside the stadium, since bags were not allowed inside the stadium - if people carried them, there were shops to keep it safe at some cost, face painters, T-Shirt selling boys and girls etc.
Not to forget the traffic jams in all roads around the stadium before and after the match. Half the road was occupied by pedestrians. The number of policemen and police women for security reasons in and around the stadium are to be pitied.
The one consoling factor for the amount spent on tickets was the team we cheered for won in a high scoring match! I am sure they harvest huge profits in each match, but at what cost? Is it really worth? I would say a big NO!
I have always felt, cricket is an over-rated game with a lot of money involved. I remember my father quoting GB Shaw “Cricket is a game where eleven fools play and eleven hundred fools watch”, only the number of viewers has exponentially increased. It is high time we start encouraging other sports also and save our country's honour in International Arena. Aim for more medals in the next Olympics, for instance! All it needs is channelising time, interest and money away from cricket to other sports - not just by the Sports Authorities but also common people who watch sports for Entertainment Quotient.