Be it Lords or the MCG, the cricketing universe agrees to the simple fact that Eden Gardens has the best atmosphere of all the cricket stadiums. The reason need not be stated as it’s not because of the pitch nor the outfield, but the heavenly crowd which tuns up to support their team. The electrifying Eden is not unknown to the players. Its identity is the spectators themselves.
But in recent years, the most hallowed ground of all seems to have lost its identity. Each match has started to bear witness to empty stands. The only ground in the world which was expected to pull crowds for Test matches in this generation barely does it so even in the shorter versions.
The India vs England One-Day and Twenty20 matches did see a decent crowd but surely it was not the regular Eden crowd. The India vs West Indies test match hardly saw anyone in the stadium to appreciate Rahul Dravid‘s fine century. There was a time when test matches saw full houses at the Eden. And how can one forget the day that turned the fortunes of the Indian cricket team when VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid played the innings of their lives at this hallowed stadium.
The causes are too many to name but we have hardly seen any solutions. India vs England World cup match was taken off due to poor maintainence. Eden hardly gets an international match nowadays as compared to the Chinnaswamy and P Chidambaram stadiums. Even the fall in prices of the tickets have not helped either. People were expected to turn up in the IPL but the boycott of the local hero Sourav Ganguly has been the prime reason that the home team gets less support. No doubt SRK brand has the biggest fan base but the Dada’s transfer to the Pune Warriors affected the city badly. Dada has been the heart of the Calcuttans and if u dont have him in the Kolkata team, it’s like having honey without sweetness.
Well, the fortunes changed for Mr.Ganguly as he got a contract with The Sahara Pune Warriors. Last season he did not get a chance to play at his home turf but this time he is the captain and he is doing well in that role. Led by a 39 year old fighter, the Pune Warriors are not underdogs in this year’s IPL. And a thunderous crowd awaits them in the opposition’s den as they will take on the field with Sourav Ganguly. No matter what the result of the match is, Eden is set to get back its very own crowd. The day will be unique as the world has never seen this stadium roar for the opposition. The magic is set to be back. KKR would be more nevous for sure.
It’s as if Dada’s telling SRK. “picture abhi baaki hai mere dost…!!“
Just wait for the clock to strike 16:00 pm…