Pune, Oct 10: India and South Africa are playing the second Test match at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune on Thursday (October 10) but the low turnout of spectators has left cricket experts and enthusiasts disappointed.
Almost every stand at the venue was empty and there were hardly any spectators in the stadium to cheer the home side. While some felt the poor attendance could be because the match was being held on a weekday, some blamed the BCCI and state administration for the same.
According to a fan most of the international stadiums in the country are located in the vicinity of the cities but that isn't the case with Pune.
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Fans claimed that transportation is the biggest hassle when it comes to getting to the stadium, which is outside the city. Also, the frequent spells of rain in the afternoon is playing a spoilsport in Pune.
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"The reason (less turnout of audiences) is the availability of public transport. The nearest bus stop 12 KM's away from the stadium. During IPL, most of us travel by Cab which costs around a grand back and forth. The season pass for this game costs about ₹2,500 but travelling cost is double the cost of tickets," wrote a fan on Twitter.
Straight from a fan in Pune... in case you think transportation is not a problem... Chennai/Mumbai/Delhi/Bangalore/Kolkata/most old stadiums are bang in middle of town/city. https://t.co/VYb0nXAfju— Chetan Narula (@chetannarula) October 10, 2019
"Transportation is the biggest problem as the stadium is outside the city. Also, currently Pune weather is at it's best in uncertainty. Almost daily it is raining which is picking up in the afternoon," wrote another fan.
Another fan wrote that no protection from the scorching heat, as most of the stands have no shed, make it tough for the fans to visit the stadium for a Test match.
"Also heavy traffic on narrow roads in Gahunje and lack of parking space for cars. No shed in 80% of the stadium in this heat with 5-star hotel prices for water and snacks. It's a hectic and costly affair," wrote another fan.
Veteran sports journalist Vijay Lokpally blamed the association for the poor turnout.
Mr @GSV1980 Have you made some new discovery bloody?? Who will come to a venue owned by an association which cares a hoot for spectators. The association is under the evil influence of a toxic administrator who is not even in 'power' . Hats off to the handful of fans present. https://t.co/2jftQOTYiv— Vijay Lokapally (@vijaylokapally) October 10, 2019
Meanwhile, India skipper Virat Kohli won the toss elected to bat in the second Test match. India replaced middle-order batsman Hanuma Vihari with pacer Umesh Yadav for this match.
Rohit Sharma opened the innings with Mayank Agarwal but the Mumbaikar was dismissed cheaply for 14 by Kagiso Rabada.