In what was an apparent bid to protect the Australians from terror strikes, knowledge of the match, while it was being played, was withheld from the public leading to empty stands and poor TRP ratings.
When this correspondent reached the ground, tipped of by his sources, he found only seven people and two dogs watching the match. In a country that worships cricket and ads featuring cricketers, such a spectacle was far from natural.
Not a bomber in sight
The correspondent did try and speak to some of the “spectators” but most of them pretended to be sleeping in an obvious move by the government to avoid the press.
We did however manage to speak to Arnab Bondhopadhya, who quite cryptic in his answers too. When asked whether anybody prevented him from coming to the ground, all he did was nod, without taking his eyes of the match, and answer, “Yesh, my bhife”
He, however, did open up a bit during the lunch break. “This is the 363rd match played by the Board President’s XI and the 43rd time that a captain is leading them who does not feature in the test team. This is also the 89th time that the captain of the Board President’s XI has hit a century and the 47th time he has done it in the second innings. For Yuvraj Singh…”
Attempts to get any information out of him failed as he stonewalled the correspondent using an extremely clever tactic, shown above, of evading my questions.
Although the match was shown on TV to maintain a show of normalcy, the Government’s machinations made sure that it garnered TRPs less than even that of the telecast of Parliament debates on Lok Sabha TV.
The BCCI President, Sharad Pawar, has assured us that the actual matches between India and Australia will be held normally. “After all”, said Mr. Pawar, quoting Virender Sehwag, “Delhi is not like Pakistan”.
As the two images of Chandi chowk(left) and Anarkali Bazaar(above) clearly show, Delhi is not like Pakistan