IPL merchandise sales take a hit in Kolkata

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Kolkata, Apr 18 (ANI): With the Indian Premier League (IPL) matches being played far away from home in South Africa, merchandise sales are seeing a slump in Kolkata markets.

The shopkeepers who have invested hugely in IPL T-Shirts of all teams, are ruing the loss of customers.

From the black and gold tees of the Kolkata Knight Riders, to the startling Yellow and Black of the Deccan Chargers T-Shirts, from the Blue and Yellow Rajasthan Royals sports jerseys to the Black and Red Delhi Dare Devils tracksuits, from the Light Blue and Red of Punjab XI Tees to the Yellow and Red with a tinge of Blue Chennai Super Kings Tees and the Sky Blue and Deep Blue of Mumbai Indians tees - all are available in abundance but there are few customers to buy it.

Shopkeepers like Mohammad Salaluddin pointed out that when the matches were being played at Eden Gardens in last year's IPL tournament, all local fans were going to the stadium after buying the T-Shirts of their favourite teams.

"Most of the sales were of the Kolkata Knight Riders. This time I am not harbouring any such hopes. Even at knocked down prices of Rs. 80 onwards, on the eve of IPL series, there are hardly any customers," Salaluddin added.

"Our business has been affected a lot after the IPL venue was shifted to South Africa. Last year we did good business as the matches took place in Kolkata, but this year business is very bad. We sold at least 250 pieces of every team last year but this year the sale is very low. Locals used to wear the jerseys to watch matches in Eden Gardens but this year nobody can go there, so who will buy?" he said.

Locals believe buying and wearing their favourite team's jersey and sitting in front of the television to watch the matches can only be a compensation for missing the excitement of cheering the team from the stands in their team colours.

"It is our bad luck that the IPL has been shifted to South Africa. We cannot go to South Africa so we are now buying T-Shirts in a hope to enjoy matches sitting at home," said Rajesh, a cricket fan.

Foreign spectators are expected to supplement the local crowds, with 4,000 Indians are likely to attend the matches in the next five weeks. (ANI)

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