Rain may spoil Kanpur Test

There's rain in the air in Kanpur, where India play a must-win Test match. The ticket sales have also been lukewarm, following Sachin Tendulkar's absence.

updated: October 22, 2008 08:03 IST
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Sachin Tendulkar's absence and the fear of unseasonal rain have left Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association (UPCA) officials worried, fearing a lukewarm response for the third and final India-South Africa Test match starting here on April 11.

A day before tickets are made available to the people, UPCA officials admitted there was no cricket fever as such, something unusual for a city known for its liking for the game.

UPCA spokesman IM Rastogi fears Tendulkar's absence, due to a groin injury, might take some sheen off the tie.

"Had he been part of the squad, people would have thronged the stadium, hoping him to make up for the side's poor show in the Ahmedabad Test," Rastogi said.

The Green Park Stadium can accommodate 39,000 people and UPCA has already distributed the tickets to eight State Bank branches across the city, which will be available from Tuesday.

IIT student Chandrasekhar made it clear that this time he and his friends would prefer to stay back and watch the match on television.

"Generally, me and my friends at the IIT make it a point to go to the ground whenever Tendulkar is here. But this time he is nursing an injury. So we would watch the match on television instead," he said.

The fear of rain interruptions also has the organizers worried. The city has already witnessed showers this month and the Met department of the Chandrashekhar Azad Agricultural University does not rule out rain over the next week.

Meanwhile, for cricket fans like Amit Harsh Sinha, it's neither Tendulkar's absence nor the fear of rain but India's disastrous show in the Ahmedabad Test that has put him off.

"After their surrender in Ahmedabad within three days, I'm not going to go to the ground and waste five days. Rather, I would catch some glimpse on television," he said.

UPCA secretary PD Pathak, however, sounded optimistic that the Green Park would still draw enough crowds.

"Kanpur will host a Test match after fours years and this might decide the outcome of the series," he said.