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When cricket becomes bigger than life

Written by: Staff
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Jamshedpur, Apr 13 (UNI) Heat and humidity remained serious concerns as the cricket bandwagon went on with its Indian odyssey.

Intense heat had been playing on the minds of the English team as they travelled from one small centre to another.But spare a thought for the spectators, who suffered oppressive heat.

''There has been discussion on every news channel and paper about the heat the players will have to bear. But has anyone spared a thought for us?'' asked Jhuma Ghosh, a fan, while talking to UNI here today.

Yesterday, it was nearing 44 degree celcius in Keenan Stadium.

the heat was searing making life unbearable as scribes were seen covering their heads with wet towels sitting under a shade. The players used ice-jackets, but no such facilities spectators!! One Anil Jaiswal, a middle-aged man, left the match midway. ''I could not take the heat. they could have put up a tarpaulin at least on the stands,'' he said.

The BCCI is one of the richest sports bodies in the world with its earnings running into billions a billion dollars and it has finally woken up to the fact and has vowed to improve the infrastructures at different venues.

BCCI Secretary Niranjan Shah told UNI, ''We have a detailed plan for developing the infrastructure at all the state associations.

Each one will get some Rs eight crore this year as subsidy for developing their infrastructure.

''So they can start to improve the infrastructure, including the galleries anytime they like,'' he said.

Travelling around the country for the one-dayers, one has experienced humidity that went up to 90 per cent in Kochi and saw fans vent their frustration in Guwahati on Sunday, fighting a pitched battle with the police and playing with fire.

Now as the team heads for Indore, it will be more of the same --intense heat, more humidity and more searing hot wind.

For now there is no respite, but there is hope in store as by Virender Sehwag said.

''The facilities are excellent in the small centres. We have no problems,'' he said while talking to the media in a pre-match meet.

Asked whether the facilities could be further improved, Sehwag said, ''Things can't happen at one go. It takes time. The Board has made a lot of money and I am sure the state associations will get enough to improve the infrastructure and ground conditions. Better equipment will also be arranged.'' ''May be by next year things will change,'' he said.

''I am, though, not very convinced about the spectators' stands here,'' he said.

Hopefully the associations are listening.

UNI BA PL PM RS1438

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