Where have the Cricket loving crowds gone ?

Picture courtesy: Alamy

By: Nalin Jayetileke 

The 3 One day internationals that were played during the week, we saw Sri Lanka immerging as winners beating the visiting Zimbabwean one day international team. As reported by our sports editor and veteran sports journalist Samatha Hewabandulla covering the match at the venue said “It would have been nice if we had the crows, would have motivated the teams playing to cheer and appreciate the game from the stadium. It was disappointing to see most areas of the stadium empty and was not like other one day series that we have played before where the atmosphere was electrifying with a lot of Sri Lankan flags and support”.  

Sri Lanka may have not played the game as per the expectations of the cricket  loving public during the recent past, but if one loves the game shouldn’t they be motivating the players so that they enhance their performances for the country to be victorious again?  

Whilst some of the senior ex-players have been very critical of the Sri Lankan performances in the recent past, there are the other experienced and legends of the game who have said that it would be a matter of time when Sri Lanka starts to perform well in all format with more experience and match practice at international level. As Sri Lanka has shown progress and have won against the visitors we can expect some traction where the crowds are concerned for the next series at the stadiums to cheer their cricketing heroes.

Having said that, we also need to see if there are other factors affecting watching the game live as opposed to watching it on TV, both have their pros and cons.

Pros of Watching on TV :                                         

  1. Whilst you watch ball by ball, you also have the opportunity to listen to some fine commentary by experts of the game and many like to understand it from the perspective of a great player who is on TV giving the commentary.
  2. You watch on your TV so there is no cost or traveling , picking up food/ drinks, excusing yourself to get about through the crowds and no cost for tickets if that needs to be purchased.
  3. Watching it on TV, the choice is yours and you can do attend to some other work whilst you have a glance at the TV and if something eventful is taking place, you can even watch the replay. In this scenario one does not need to reschedule their plans due to a cricket match where both are handled simultaneously.
  4. The end that a batter is it does not matter if you are in front of a TV as even if you are seated right in front near the boundary line  or sometimes even like being on the field, in fielding position of mid-off or Cover position depending on the angles of the cameras. When in a stadium you are ether close to a batters end or at a distance. So the Batting end doesn’t really matter while watching on TV.
  5. In Stadium, since they change batting end after every over, you might get to see 50% of match from behind or in some other direction and will not enjoy getting to see 100% umpire view whilst watching at a stadium as opposed to watching it on TV.

Pros of watching a cricket match from the Stadium:

  1. The electrifying experience you get watching at a stadium you will not get whilst watching on TV. Also get the opportunity of cheering your team along with thousands of people, is just simply an unmatched feeling.
  2. On TCV one may not get to see teams warm-up and what happens before a match starts proper, or even an ceremony or a significant moment which the TV s may not be interested in that happens sometimes off the field.
  3. In a stadium the opportunity that you get to discuss with likeminded cricket lovers which you may not have whilst watching on TV which makes it good fun analysing at different wavelengths.
  4. Ads on TV sometimes will miss out to capture salient moments happing on real time which if in a stadium you will have.

Other areas that needs to be considered as to why one should watch Cricket inside a stadium on real time is

Excitement – If it’s your first time, you’ll be overwhelmed by the sheer feel of the thousands of fans, cheering on.

View – One huge difference is that, in TV, even though the cameras pan to give you the best angle, you’ll not be able to get an overall view of the match at any point of time.

Enthusiasm – Worry no more, you can definitely let yourself lose in the stadium, and join the horde of people in shouting your lungs out when something exiting takes place.

However, one may not be able to really conclude watching on TV is good or from stadium. These are some of the pros and cons of both ends of the story with which one can make a decision.  For a Sri Lakan cricket fan, Cricket is always fun to watch when Sri Lanka is playing as the atmosphere is electrifying, would have ample food and drinks stalls which would also have a blend of real Sri Lankan touch of music and fun with the Papare Bands. So hope the crowds will put aside the setbacks and would be back again in the stadiums to watch Cricket

Looking at the concluded matches between Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe one may tend to wonder what has happened to the crowds we use to have in the stadiums? Though excitement and view as explained earlier are factors too, we see a drop in the crowds, although the gates were opened for anyone to just walk in. …..Food for thought!