The Indian cricket fan

'Recently, one of the Indian fans had a placard at Sydney which read “Symonds, Hyderabad welcomes you” and our TV commentators, who are as rabidly nationalistic as you can hope to meet, said that here was evidence that Indians are a sporting race.

I nearly choked. I am sure they do not witness cricket matches from the stands here. There is a death-like silence when an Indian wicket falls and huge cheering for every edge the local batsman comes up with. I can’t imagine Ponting being supported in Mumbai and Symonds being cheered at Chandigarh. Involvement of the fan with the teams playing is crucial to success and that is not merely sporting the T-shirt of the local team and that will come with time, if at all. How the teams build links with the local community will be crucial. If you look at the English county system, people like Shane Warne have a tremendous following in Hampshire as he is loyal to the team, lives there during the season has captained the team and nurtured young talent.'

- Ramanujam Sridhar; 'Indian Premier League or Initial Public Offering?'


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