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GT20 Canada: Cricket Is Here But Where Is The Crowd?

GT20 Canada has empty stands on Day 2

Team Parvasi – Inside

Supported by City of Brampton and province of Ontario besides a number of other sponsors, the GT20 Canada cricket bonanza was haunted by nearly empty stands on the second day today.

While some of cricket stars of yesteryears , including former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi, joined hands with upcoming Canadian players, including Jatinder Singh and Pargat Singh , they failed to enthuse local cricket fans. Stands were virtually deserted. The organists even introduced cheer girls today but that too did not work.
Though Friday afternoon marks the beginning of much awaited weekend for Canadians, lack of response from local cricket fans  to both the games played today was disturbing.

Empty stands on Day 2 of GT20 Canada
Empty stands on Day 2 of GT20 Canada

Intriguingly, the Mayor of Brampton Patrick Brown, has been working overtime to promote the sport as his city has perhaps the largest population of cricket players and fans. He wants to make Brampton as cricket capital of Canada. Idea is laudable but if needs total involvement of the local populace as well as its opinion makers.
Even the playfield  of the arena repeatedly runs the ad of the City of Brampton but somehow message has not gone home well.

Besides the City of Brampton even the provincial government has consented for its ad being run repeatedly, the results are far from visible.

A number of cricket enthusiasts, including local journalists, are of the view that since local media, especially ethnic media, that enjoys tremendous credibility among immigrants coming from South Asia, including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, the organizers have wittingly or unwittingly, has not been actively associated with conduct of the event.

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GT20 Canada
GT20 Canada

Had they involved the local ethnic media and other associations, the response to this mega event would have been overwhelming, they add.

One of the media relations specialist went to the extent of saying that the organizers are mistakenly basking in the glory that the event is being telecast in 150 nations with a. Viewership of 150 million without realizing that either those nations are busy with their own teams or the timing of the games in Brampton just DK not go well with their timings.

“You cannot expect with diehard Indian cricket fans to keep awake at midnight to watch spent up forces playing cricket in Brampton. They are busy watching their own  team playing West Indies as a part of its build up for the ICC World Cup 2023. So is the case with other cricket crazy nations,” he adds.

Questions are also being raised over the use of public funds for an event that has been refusing to incite local interest. They say there has to be some justification in allocating huge funds on the pretext of promoting a game as well as tourism and investments in the province of Ontario and City of Brampton in particular.
The turn out of spectators on first two days of the event, however, tell a different tale.

Prabhjot Singh

NEWS

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