October 29, 2008

Ticket to Kotla

The Delhi players would have loved to go and watch Gautam Gambhir score his second hundred against Australia, but they had to wait - unsuccessfully - for the tickets they are entitled to
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Dear readers

How can I not write about my Delhi team-mate when he has got two consecutive centuries against Australia? Especially when the second one has come on our home ground, Feroz Shah Kotla. Gautam Gambhir has taken huge strides in the last one year. All of us in the Delhi team are proud of what he's achieved, and look to him for inspiration.

I could have gone to the Kotla to watch the game after my practice, but as it so often happens in Delhi the two tickets I'm entitled to - being an Indian player - still haven't reached my place. I've been told they're on their way, but day one has already passed, and with that the opportunity to watch a Delhi player excel. Mind you, I'm not the only one: none of us in the Delhi Ranji Trophy team has received a ticket - a first-class cricketer gets one in Delhi. Anyhow, that's the way our system works.

Another thing I wanted to write about is junior cricket. We've been keenly watching the results and performances at Under-22 and Under-19 levels. These kids are our immediate supply line, and as and when we need any replacements we'd be looking to them. Since we have not been able to watch the game ourselves, we go by what we hear from people at the ground, and read about it next day in the papers. Apparently these games are played with SG Tournament balls. For an outsider it might not make any difference as it's still a red ball, made of leather and weighing 5 ½ oz, but for cricketers it means a lot. The behaviour of the ball depends a lot on its quality.

The SG Test ball that is used in first-class and Test cricket in India is relatively soft (made with a soft cork inside and a finer quality of leather) with a very pronounced seam. The ball doesn't move too much, but once it gets a little old, if maintained properly, it swings throughout the day. The ball comes a bit slower off the surface unless it's been made to pitch on the seam. The only way to succeed with an SG Test ball is to land it on the seam, for otherwise you're doomed. On the contrary, the SG Tournament ball has a lot more glaze on it, and is made with hard cork and not-so-fine leather. The ball does a lot when it's new, and travels much quicker after pitching even when it is not pitched on the seam.

The figures we see at the end of the game could be quite misleading. You can't pick a fast bowler just because he wreaked havoc with that ball in the winters in north India. Spinners get less purchase, and hence shouldn't be condemned, and poor openers might not get big scores. The whole exercise of having an age-group tournament seems somewhat futile as it doesn't present a true picture of the talent available. Just to rub it in, the politicking at junior levels is beyond our comprehension. But one works within the system, and hopes that players like Gautam, Viru [Virender Sehwag] and Ishant [Sharma] keep coming good for Delhi and India despite these hurdles.

PS: I'm eagerly waiting for the tickets to come so that either I can go watch the match or pass it on to one of my nephews who have been crying to go to the ground all day.

Former India opener Aakash Chopra is the author of Out of the Blue, an account of Rajasthan's 2010-11 Ranji Trophy victory. His website is here and his Twitter feed here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • rohit on October 30, 2009, 5:50 GMT

    i am very intrested in cricket match. in india & pakistan

  • Rajit on November 19, 2008, 9:09 GMT

    A very interesting point on balls used for various tournaments from Aakash.I guess it's time BCCI starts using Kookabura balls for either Ranji or Duleep Trophy matches because thats what our bowlers get to use when we travel abroad (except England where they use Duke,I guess).But surely even in age groups tournaments BCCI must use SG Test if that is being used in Ranji Trophy.

    Well Said Aakash and good luck for the season!!!

  • DOCSRI on November 7, 2008, 3:04 GMT

    Hi Akash Nice insight into junior cricket, I'm sure bcci can afford to promote the junior cricket tournaments across the country with kookaburra balls, it would certainly help for the betterment of cricket in India. Akash do you see any promising allrounders in the kapil dev mould caught your attention in recent past, India truly misses an allrounder in a true sense.

  • varun suri on November 2, 2008, 16:14 GMT

    Dear Aakash, What are your chances of replacing Gambhir if his ban is upheld?

  • Jaideep Desai on October 31, 2008, 16:23 GMT

    Akash - great post, I am surprisedat all these wise cracks who suggest you buy the ticket for the match. All Indian test cricketers should just be able to walk to any stadium in the country and be able to watch the game, regardless of physical tickets but simply based on a valid i.d. That is the least they deserve for toiling in the sun and playing for the country. On the account of different cricket balls being used, it's a pity that the richest cricket board is so apathetic with regards to such details. There probably should be a greater encouragement at all levels to simulate exactly the same set of conditions to bring out the best in our budding talent. Thanks Akash for pointing out the inconcistencies in our domestice system.

  • Jerry on October 31, 2008, 14:15 GMT

    Thanks for the insight Aakash. It isn't surprising to hear about the flaws in the system. Just wanted to comment about another young player in the Delhi ranks who reminds me a lot of Gambhir, and that is Shikar Dhawan. He does have a promising future and I hope he gets his break with the national squad. Cheers.

  • amita sharma on October 31, 2008, 7:07 GMT

    dear akash thanks for posting your valable thought on the internetactually u dont want to share your feeling to indian people but u want to take sympathy from them,, this is really surprised that you have been a opner for india for so many year .. being a indian opner you have earn lots of amount for you .i think u shoul not ask for free tickets for kotla match this is not fair that delhi is the capital of india lots of cricket plyayer those represened india previous . lots of politiacians . neta sarkari babus living in delhi govt ot DDCA cant provide them free tickets for every body if u are good lover of cricket u must ready to pay for ticket.. actually this is our problem that we want every thing in our favour we dont want to pay anything .. u r from delhi freind od gautam but u r not paying anything for tickes..one more issue i think any celebrieis like u dont want to ago alone there they wnt 10-20 ticke t for theirs family member and freinds so dear akash for god sake dont do like

  • Manzar Khan on October 30, 2008, 17:58 GMT

    Dear Akash , Thanks for posting this blog as we all got to know abt the misarangments by DDCA.Shame on DDCA.Shabash Gautam Gambhir it was amzing we enjoy cheering for him at our home ground.Keep it up

  • Gaurav on October 30, 2008, 15:18 GMT

    I think Aakash's point was to highlight the painfully bad inner workings of the notorious DDCA and not the BCCI per se. The tickets are sent by the local association at whose ground the match is played. Sermonisers should take note before mounting soapboxes.

  • Indra Vikram Singh on October 30, 2008, 15:00 GMT

    A lot more people would have been at the Kotla had the ticket sales been professional. A couple of days before the Test one had no clue where tickets were available, and what the denominations were. Unlike Mohali, tickets for the Delhi Test were not available on the internet. An option was to drive a long way, park far off, then queue up for the tickets, and maybe not get any. So the safer bet was to watch the game on the telly. Without tickets in hand it is silly to go to the ground in a large city like Delhi. Surely DDCA needs to get its act together finally. No one picks up the phone there, and even if somebody does it by chance, they are in no position to answer any query. Anyway, I am going to the Kotla tommorrow, hopefully there will be some tickets and one will be able to watch a good Indian performance in the field, and some gritty Aussie batting too. One delivery each from Kumble and Mishra turned and jumped this evening, and that tells me there is some exciting cricket ahead.

  • rohit on October 30, 2009, 5:50 GMT

    i am very intrested in cricket match. in india & pakistan

  • Rajit on November 19, 2008, 9:09 GMT

    A very interesting point on balls used for various tournaments from Aakash.I guess it's time BCCI starts using Kookabura balls for either Ranji or Duleep Trophy matches because thats what our bowlers get to use when we travel abroad (except England where they use Duke,I guess).But surely even in age groups tournaments BCCI must use SG Test if that is being used in Ranji Trophy.

    Well Said Aakash and good luck for the season!!!

  • DOCSRI on November 7, 2008, 3:04 GMT

    Hi Akash Nice insight into junior cricket, I'm sure bcci can afford to promote the junior cricket tournaments across the country with kookaburra balls, it would certainly help for the betterment of cricket in India. Akash do you see any promising allrounders in the kapil dev mould caught your attention in recent past, India truly misses an allrounder in a true sense.

  • varun suri on November 2, 2008, 16:14 GMT

    Dear Aakash, What are your chances of replacing Gambhir if his ban is upheld?

  • Jaideep Desai on October 31, 2008, 16:23 GMT

    Akash - great post, I am surprisedat all these wise cracks who suggest you buy the ticket for the match. All Indian test cricketers should just be able to walk to any stadium in the country and be able to watch the game, regardless of physical tickets but simply based on a valid i.d. That is the least they deserve for toiling in the sun and playing for the country. On the account of different cricket balls being used, it's a pity that the richest cricket board is so apathetic with regards to such details. There probably should be a greater encouragement at all levels to simulate exactly the same set of conditions to bring out the best in our budding talent. Thanks Akash for pointing out the inconcistencies in our domestice system.

  • Jerry on October 31, 2008, 14:15 GMT

    Thanks for the insight Aakash. It isn't surprising to hear about the flaws in the system. Just wanted to comment about another young player in the Delhi ranks who reminds me a lot of Gambhir, and that is Shikar Dhawan. He does have a promising future and I hope he gets his break with the national squad. Cheers.

  • amita sharma on October 31, 2008, 7:07 GMT

    dear akash thanks for posting your valable thought on the internetactually u dont want to share your feeling to indian people but u want to take sympathy from them,, this is really surprised that you have been a opner for india for so many year .. being a indian opner you have earn lots of amount for you .i think u shoul not ask for free tickets for kotla match this is not fair that delhi is the capital of india lots of cricket plyayer those represened india previous . lots of politiacians . neta sarkari babus living in delhi govt ot DDCA cant provide them free tickets for every body if u are good lover of cricket u must ready to pay for ticket.. actually this is our problem that we want every thing in our favour we dont want to pay anything .. u r from delhi freind od gautam but u r not paying anything for tickes..one more issue i think any celebrieis like u dont want to ago alone there they wnt 10-20 ticke t for theirs family member and freinds so dear akash for god sake dont do like

  • Manzar Khan on October 30, 2008, 17:58 GMT

    Dear Akash , Thanks for posting this blog as we all got to know abt the misarangments by DDCA.Shame on DDCA.Shabash Gautam Gambhir it was amzing we enjoy cheering for him at our home ground.Keep it up

  • Gaurav on October 30, 2008, 15:18 GMT

    I think Aakash's point was to highlight the painfully bad inner workings of the notorious DDCA and not the BCCI per se. The tickets are sent by the local association at whose ground the match is played. Sermonisers should take note before mounting soapboxes.

  • Indra Vikram Singh on October 30, 2008, 15:00 GMT

    A lot more people would have been at the Kotla had the ticket sales been professional. A couple of days before the Test one had no clue where tickets were available, and what the denominations were. Unlike Mohali, tickets for the Delhi Test were not available on the internet. An option was to drive a long way, park far off, then queue up for the tickets, and maybe not get any. So the safer bet was to watch the game on the telly. Without tickets in hand it is silly to go to the ground in a large city like Delhi. Surely DDCA needs to get its act together finally. No one picks up the phone there, and even if somebody does it by chance, they are in no position to answer any query. Anyway, I am going to the Kotla tommorrow, hopefully there will be some tickets and one will be able to watch a good Indian performance in the field, and some gritty Aussie batting too. One delivery each from Kumble and Mishra turned and jumped this evening, and that tells me there is some exciting cricket ahead.

  • Ashish on October 30, 2008, 14:12 GMT

    For all the readers trying to advise Akash to buy a ticket. Go and watch TV news. Didn't they show that the tickets for public was over in 15 minutes with huge crowd waiting. Don't go by the empty stands. Those all empty stands all belong to the DDCA passes.

  • Abhijeet on October 30, 2008, 14:09 GMT

    Aakash, I really hope you are eyeing Ganguly's spot in the middle order. Why not? Look at Michael Hussey. He was an opener, and fitted well in the middle order @ no.5 or no.6 - where your task is to hang on and graft for runs. Of course, you can up the ante when required as you did last season. I hope you 'advertise' yourself as a middle order bat !! You have all the qualifications to do so. Meanwhile, hope you see you in the 4th test if Gambhir is suspended.

    Abhijeet

  • Dev on October 30, 2008, 13:56 GMT

    Please, Akash i need a response from u for this. I was a fan of u belive me or not in ur Asutralian tour for ur Technique. Now tell me Viru might be ur closest frend in indian team, is nt it? then do u think He can't get u 10 tickets or passes for u to watch the match wid ur family. I need answer Akash. It looked to me silly as ur a delhi captain and cannot have ur say in the administration at least in terms of some freebies

  • satish on October 30, 2008, 12:16 GMT

    Akash, good for your appreciation of teammates. Hope more players of their caliber comes up. Is it because may be a softer ball helps spinners more that we use it in test matches? another thing, first class cricketers are so very well paid now. I am sure you can afford not just 2 but at least 10 tickets if you really want. Putting too much importance to a freebie ticket in your blog shows players in bad light especially in front of foreign readers. Hope you notice it.

  • rakesh rahi on October 30, 2008, 10:44 GMT

    what a matach.. and what a inning by goutam gambhir.. he played super cricket like don broadman.. he is very cool and calm.. now india learning how to win matches and how to beat aussies in home and away.. in last 10 years india is only team who have beaten aussies several time in home and away being an indian i am very happy to see our old brigrade who is scoring not only runs but hitting several 100 against aus.. this is is dut to M s dhoni s captainship he is brialliant he gave right direction to indian team.. schine is like 7-8 years old hitting properly making run motivating whole team now india can easily beat ausiies .. it will an unique chance when aus will take any team in last match with 2-0 margins.. congrate india congrates gautam schine .. and very very special laxman

  • Ally on October 30, 2008, 9:37 GMT

    Akash we are pleased that you have come in open and have posted this ticket issue, but i am suprised that you are still waiting for the ticket, I am sorry you should have not waited for the ticket and miss such a lovely innings from gautam, being a cricketer how could you do sacrifice such a moment , i appreciate that you have disclosed the matter to us, but waiting for the ticket Mr. Chopra is really a bad idea. this is India and thats how our system works.

  • sandip on October 30, 2008, 8:52 GMT

    did the tickets finally arrive?

  • MM on October 30, 2008, 8:52 GMT

    Aakash, I am amazed you have not understood the BCCI over the years having been associated with them in some form of the game. Even a street person would have been able to tell you the Tickets promise they have made was purely an eye wash. Who knows -where does these tickets actually go ?? These messages cannot change their attitude, it is pity that despite being rich they lack professionalism for the game which is a part of LIFE in India. I would not blame them but OUR CULTURE.

  • Ajay on October 30, 2008, 8:43 GMT

    its a good time for Gautam Gambhir to prove yourself.

  • AY on October 30, 2008, 7:47 GMT

    Appalling some of the comments here! Guys, cmon, seriously... First to all those who are saying he must get a ticket himself, of course he could buy it himself and probably would, but shouldn't he get what he's so rightfully entitled to? After all, it's part of his job description: play well, keep performing, face ruthless criticism, reap the rewards for bearing all that and still shining. If the board can't be that organized, being so rich and important and all, it's a right shame! As for you Sam, he gets TWO tickets. Read the article carefully. Two tickets means he can use one for himself and still have one for his nephew. Not so good with the attention or math mate! Nice article Aakash. Keep em coming! And all the best for the new season!

  • Vishwajeet on October 30, 2008, 7:03 GMT

    hi akash! so u can purchase some tickets from ground! is the tickets a big issue.? i dont think so!!! buh even though as it is your rite to get tickets u must hav ben given that before starting the match..! so i wish u get it soon for u and u buy it 4 yur nephew...!!and wish my regrads to all indina players whom ever u meet!!enjoy..

  • Ashwin on October 30, 2008, 7:02 GMT

    It is obviously not about the money, but the principle. Aakash has played for India and hence deserves (far more than our umpteen "administrators") the chance to chill with the Indian team and watch this game from up close. Pathetic BCCI...

  • bitap on October 30, 2008, 7:02 GMT

    hi Akash, nice and compact like ur technique.. ur tickets must have gone some address probably DDCA babu's relatives house.In delhi even if you have a ticket sometimes(ODIs),u can't go inside the stadium since its already filled,then u get lathi-charged by police..thats how DDCA works..a perfect replica things in our capital where you have to be related/connected to powerful to watch a cricket match

  • Sunil on October 30, 2008, 6:48 GMT

    Those who are advising Akash to buy a ticket, have surly missed the point!!

  • Sam on October 30, 2008, 6:42 GMT

    Hey Akash, Nice writing.. are you explaining an excuse that " How could I watch the match, when I'm not in a team.. and my state Juniors are hogging the limelight". Be truthfull to yourself.. you only caught the match highlight on TV and didn't even watch it LIVE. Its a shame when a player of your stature can go into blaming others when you have all the means to go to a stadium. You also said - " pass it on to one of my nephews "... so YOU NEVER INTENDED TO BE THERE AT THE FIRST PLACE. PLEASE STOP FOOLING.

  • chewing gum on October 30, 2008, 6:36 GMT

    Hey DDCA people need to treat their players in a much better manner and give the more respect.the passes havent only not reached you but some other former players too.neway gautam is the best and he rocks..

  • Gopal on October 30, 2008, 6:33 GMT

    This is for Raj, who wants us to use kookaburra ball. I dont think there is anything wrong in using the SG ball. In all the years of cricket, have the Ozies ever prepared a spinner friendly wicket or use any other ball to favor the visitors? Admit it now. Their time has come to an end.

  • ANURAG on October 30, 2008, 6:22 GMT

    i think what indians need is a double ton from gambhir.......

  • Aditya on October 30, 2008, 6:20 GMT

    Just go buy a ticket Akash yaar. Too good to miss. And Raj...India beat Aussies at Perth with a kookaburra ball...so don't make silly predictions. The SG ball has been used in India for a long time...even when the Aussies won in India in 2004 the SG ball was used. So they can't use that as an excuse. And when India go to Aus do we expect slow low turners? No, we expect bouncy pitches so what's wrong with making spinning ones.

  • SS on October 30, 2008, 6:19 GMT

    I am very sad to see such comments on this thread.

    Aakash is a fine cricketer, and one of the very few articulate and keen observers of the game. Just read some of his columns on the BBC. It is not that Aakash is acting cheap, he is just calling to attention the callous nature of the cricketing authorities in India, in not getting a former test player an opportunity to be a part of a test match on his home ground. It is a disgrace, and it is better to provide tickets to such deserving individuals rather than some corporate folks or relatives of cricket officials.

    I understand your point of view, Aakash. Hang in there and I hope you get your complimentary passes in time to see India win this test match. I would also love if you provided a couple of kids the chance to see a fine test match from India's perspective.

    Good luck mate, and keep the great articles coming.

  • Nitin Shenoy on October 30, 2008, 6:16 GMT

    I do not understand why folks trash Aakash for pointing out the obvious? His post gives us an insiders view of the apathy of the Cricket Adminstrations in this country. In my humble opinion, an analogy would be a family function where you got ignored just because you are not the focal point of the function.

    Indian boards and cricket administrations should wake up and smell the coffee. Dignity and decency are sorely lacking from those folks whether it is treatment of fans, current or ex-cricketers alike.

  • Madhuri on October 30, 2008, 5:06 GMT

    Informative post there..u write well...Hope u get to go to the match and watch us thrash the aussies... :-)

  • MuchMore on October 30, 2008, 4:49 GMT

    how about buying a ticket ? the stadium aint housefull mate.

  • raj on October 30, 2008, 4:34 GMT

    The use of the SG ball in India is unfair to the Australians. It is one thing to make spin-friendly pitches,which they usually do in India, but another to gain unfair advantage by using a ball that favours the Indians. An even contest is using the Kookaburra ball - Try it. India will not win against the Australians in India.

  • Sanjay Sinha on October 30, 2008, 4:17 GMT

    Akash,

    It was a pleasant surprise to read your blog. You have a flair and an engaging style akin to good professional writers.

    I look forward to reading similar stff in future.

    Sanjay

  • Vinay on October 30, 2008, 4:04 GMT

    C'mon Aakash...Can't you afford to spend some money from your own pocket and buy the tickets to watch this fascinating test match rather than wait for the stupid BCCI to send you the tickets?

  • Satish on October 30, 2008, 3:37 GMT

    Your despair at the politics in the system comes across so strongly.. am sure its the same with many other fine players like you in the Delhi cricket scene. Don't lose hope, Akash. As you can see from the comments on your columns here, there's a whole lot of people in the country rooting for you. Keep the faith!

  • VB Sharma on October 30, 2008, 3:16 GMT

    and here I am thinking that at least contacts and influence work in India. Not anymore I guess.

    Language of money I guess is the only language understood these days and my chances of getting my favorite seats in such a vast population ....any body's guess.

  • Ananthasubramanian on October 30, 2008, 3:02 GMT

    No wonder that ticket sales have not been professionalised in India. When this is the plight for test match players, imagine the struggle for general cricket lovers !!!!

    @ SG Ball - We were using BDM White balls for practice and now the winter has set very well in Mysore too. Yesterday, the ball had a very big swing movement and we found that the chillness in the air along with the dew assists the fast bowlers swing the ball a lot more than usual. What more, we practice in the evenings !!!There is no surprise that test match bowlers get so much purchase in Ireland, Scotland, New Zealand and England !!!

    All the best for getting to watch the Kotla test.

    P.S.:- I did get a chance to watch the Bengaluru test on the weekend :) :) The total atmosphere was something special !!!

  • Rohan on October 30, 2008, 2:59 GMT

    Aakash, Seriously how much does it cost to go to the ground and buy a ticket? I understand that you are suppose to get the ticket as you are a first class player and as you havent recieved a ticket yet, which resulted in missing out on a great day of cricket. May be 3 team mates playing for india is not enough inspiration for you to go ahead and watch the game irrespective of what the officials are doing. Come on, since when did the enjoyment of sport came higher than your own ego.

  • Ganesh Sanap on October 30, 2008, 2:57 GMT

    Aakash,

    I am sorry, I didn't understand what you were trying to say in your blog. You didn't go just because the tickets didn't arrive ? It is as lame an excuse as it gets. I know that a Mumbai cricketer never misses an opportunity to go watch international cricket whatever the circumstances. I think it will be better served if you gave your tickets to your nephew. The only thing I agree with you is that the politics at the junior level is huge. Parents shouldn't be allowed anywhere near where their kids play cricket.

  • RK on October 30, 2008, 2:57 GMT

    Why don't you buy a ticket instead?

  • Sid on October 30, 2008, 2:53 GMT

    Dear Aakash,

    It is a sad state of affairs that the Delhi Ranji team has not received the tickets due to them. Credit to you for taking it philosophically, but point here is that too long has the system taken its players for granted.

    During ODI's staged in Delhi (and elsewhere) we here stories of fans with genuine tickets being bumped off and officials and 'free-pass' holders making it in their expense. BCCI been taking the paying public for a ride. When such negligence happens to people who have played Test/First Class cricket, it is a shame.

    In that respect, I am happy to note that the Mohali crowd that kept away did cause a flutter.

  • amrinder on October 30, 2008, 2:49 GMT

    Dear Akash Its very unfortunate incidence that a cricketer of your caliber was not able to play in this game and even more stressful that the system is not so friendly. But we have to live with it anyway.Regardless of everything we have to apreciate the effort of the indian team it was the historical moment for Cricket India and for all of us that we were able to beat Australia in the way which was not even fantasy of any indian ten years back.Here we have to consider some real tough decisions although i accept the fact that old is gold but keeping the bowler like Bhaji out of practice is not the example of the professional approach.We should respect seniours but not compromising the young talent at the same time .

  • Cricketics on October 30, 2008, 2:41 GMT

    who is to be blamed for the tickets here mate???

    Is it the responsibility of the DDCA or the BCCI???

    I am shocked to hear it though that you guys won't be able to enter the stadium without a ticket. I thought a face recognition would just do it.

  • siva on October 30, 2008, 1:41 GMT

    Hello Aakash, Being a fine cricketer, why do you want to wait for the tickets to be mailed to you? Rather you can go ahead and purchase another ticket and watch the match?

  • Hari on October 30, 2008, 1:16 GMT

    thanks for the article Aakash..hope you get the tickets soon

  • Sid on October 30, 2008, 1:08 GMT

    Dont be so cheap man ..if you were so into watching them play you would have bought a ticket .

  • Derek on October 30, 2008, 1:05 GMT

    I'm sure you can afford to buy a ticket yourself to watch the game. After all Gautam would be happy to see you there supporting him. I'm sure a few hundred rupees is not going to do your pockets any damage. It is sad to note that you only go to see your team mates play if the BCCI gives you a ticket.

  • vishnu vardhan on October 30, 2008, 0:58 GMT

    Hello sir, I have a few questions to ask you regarding the cricket system over here(India) which I want to ask you in private. Would you mind if I ask you by e-mail? They are nothing big, just that I find it more comfortable to ask you in a one-on-one basis. Hope i am not disturbing you. Yours sincerely, Vishnu

  • bala on October 30, 2008, 0:41 GMT

    Dear Akash, We are very happy to note that you are very keen to go to the stadium and support your Delhi mate. We would have been happier had you proved your support by buying a ticket and not complaining about the system failure etc,.

  • Sharma on October 30, 2008, 0:39 GMT

    Hi Aakash, I know you from SONNET, and I think I could give you couple of contacts if you want, where you could get the pavillion passes, Tihara uncle could help you out.

  • Samir on October 30, 2008, 0:38 GMT

    Hi Akash, That's the apathy of Indian Cricket, when people like you wait for "Free" tickets to go to a match. Spend some money mate !!

  • GHF on October 30, 2008, 0:30 GMT

    Aakash, thank you for the educational article. I hope you get the tickets sooner than later. It is truely appaling that our system is run by bureaucrats, who have lived their use by date. This is one of the primary reasons that they oppose ICL, since their safezone of government like jobs would all of a sudden be invaded by high achieving individuals, set to make difference to the Indian Cricket front.

  • Kannan on October 30, 2008, 0:11 GMT

    Don't you have a life membership or something to watch test matches in the stadium? I remember that a life membership in Cheapauk stadium in chennai cost only few thousand rupees, and one could always get a ticket thru someone (even without life membership) as there were several complimentary tickets available. If one wanted to go, it was always pretty easy to get one thru friends or purchase a decent ticket for a few hundred rupees, so I find your excuse very lame, sorry.

  • Bob on October 30, 2008, 0:08 GMT

    Aakash, it's sad to hear that ppl like you rely on free tickets. If you truely had the desire to go and watch Gambhir then i am pretty sure you can afford the ticket.

  • vijay kalavar on October 30, 2008, 0:05 GMT

    Shame on the DDCA for this utterly despicaple treatment meted out to players. I am sure that all officials who cannot distinguish a bat from a ball would have been at the ground from the toss itself.

  • Gambhir's Fan on October 29, 2008, 23:41 GMT

    Shame on you Aakash Chopra, why are you whinning about the tickets not reaching ? if you really have respect towards Gautam Gambhir, you would spend re-500 and watch the match. You make good money why can't you spend it ?

  • PJ on October 29, 2008, 23:40 GMT

    Do not understand what this article is about. Anlyse the SG ball or to have a whinge about not getting free tickets. Why can Akash not buy a ticket for himself if he is so keen to go to the game. Surely he makes enough to afford a ticket for himself and one for his nephew. Do not get me wrong, I like him very much and I still remember him from 2004 tour here in Oz. He did not make big scores but he saw the new ball off which I think was a fantastic job by an opener. So while I like the guy, I think he should not whinge about small things. While he has a previledge to have free tickets but he should not wait and whinge but pay for it if he really is passionate about the game.

  • Akshay on October 29, 2008, 23:30 GMT

    Hi Aakash, how are you.

    Just read your article on how Delhi boys are looking good at their home ground. All credit goes to the opening pair of Sehway and Gambhir. Gambhir has grown as a great and consistent cricket that India lacked from a long time in all forms of games. His consistency to get runs on the board has ensured India is in the driving seat for this match.

    The thing about you being waiting for the ticket is just the typical Indian way of handling such things. All the credit goes to the way the first class cricket is played in India to deliver such awesome performers. I personally haven't watched you bat but I have heard great things about you. Being an Indian and born in Delhi, its always a pleasure to watch Delhi's cricket resources do well. I hope you all continue to shine. Best of luck for your future games and i hope i see you in the Indian international side sooner than later.

    Akshay

  • Anonymous on October 29, 2008, 23:28 GMT

    It is disappointing to hear how bad the Indian Cricket Bureaucracy is that the tickets have not arrived at the start of the game. It is even more disappointing to hear that a former and still aspiring to be Indian Test player who is also Ranji cpatain of Delhi will not go to see a home Test cricket match unless he gets a free ticket! What kind of passion and committment is that?

  • jaredninej9 on October 29, 2008, 23:23 GMT

    Its great to see India doing so well and that lets hope they continue

  • Vimal on October 29, 2008, 22:20 GMT

    Why dont you buy a ticket Akash like most spectators?

  • Amrit Prasad on October 29, 2008, 21:55 GMT

    Akash, I am sorry to hear that you didn't receive the tickets. Hope you get them sooner.

    Thank you for an insightful article that elaborated on little details that we as spectators hardly know of and start judging the players by his score or wickets. It was really helpful. Indian cricket is full of talents and I believe the Indian cricket is improving its standards, talents would end up playing for the country.

    Thanks so much.

    Regards, Amrit

    PS: I know that you and other players are entitled for tickets, I would recommend buying the tickets(to save time and not the miss the game), if they are still available. I know you would have to spend money but isn't it worth it watching Delhi boys ripping aussies apart..!!!

  • Mihir on October 29, 2008, 21:54 GMT

    Mr. Chopra, With all due respects you have also done lot for India. With the new remuneration packages issued by BCCI all First Class players rake in lakhs every year, not forgetting about brand endorsements. My humble request to you is to please spend some money to buy the tickets. We sports persons shouldn't behave like politicians looking for freebies. All the best for your future endeavours and I would love to see you back as the 3rd opener for Indian squad for overseas.

  • amit on October 29, 2008, 21:53 GMT

    Can't you just buy the tickets?

  • Sumit Puri on October 29, 2008, 21:49 GMT

    Gautam Gambhir has officially become the opener Indian cricket team has been looking for. His patience and maturity level have been tested and he has passed with flying colors. Gautam in my opinion will continue to excel and should get more centuries and half centuries in both Test and ODI. In times where a cricket team has players come and go like a revolving door, Gautam has maintained his position. It is just a matter of time when Gautam will be categorized with Dhoni, Yuvraj and Sehwag as a role player which is a neccesity to the team.

  • Amit Bhagchandka on October 29, 2008, 21:37 GMT

    I have just bought a ticket for myself. Also i have bought 1 for u, just in case your courier reaches during the Nagpur test, i would want u to acompany me for the match. Please oblige me. Amit Bhagchandka-9871977777

  • Paraa Sakthivel on October 29, 2008, 21:35 GMT

    Another thought provoking article..You are very well bringing out every nuance of problems faced by age group and first class players in India.This is where our system has failed the enormous potential of our youngsters.Lack of proper and strong infrastructure.Its nice to see that established players like u follow the performance of age group players who look upon seniors like u and it would serve as tremendous boost for them being encouraged by people like you.This article is the first one where i am seeing that a India player has openly commented about the Politicking in Age group cricket.I have kept on hearing from my friends who played age group cricket for districts and state, how talented youngsters have been ignored blatantly by biased selectors .I hope people like you take up key positions like selectors in future so that no talent is left out. BTW,Great knock by Gambir and hope you atleast get tickets before the match gets over.

  • Puneet Chopra on October 29, 2008, 21:35 GMT

    Aakash

    Well written piece but i would like to make a comment.. I was born and raised in india and used to play cricket like any other kid in india.I agree what you are saying about the syatem and red tape in india but i like to look at the glass being half full than half empty because things are getting musch better with the introduction of ipl and icl , cricket is becoming like a real proffession , becaus eif i rember correctly people making money were the superstars only but these days you can carve out a decent living if you are a good player. and this is the reason i feel that players from backwaters of india are making a aplash and bombays control on indian cricket is gone.Having said that we still have miles to go before we rest...

    I would luv to hear your response on my views , so looking forward to haering from you..

    Puneet chopra cricket fanatic

  • sling on October 29, 2008, 21:35 GMT

    aakash, it ain't so bad that you cant buy a ticket once in a while,you make enough money now what with the IPL and all, also somehow i get the feeling that gauti coming good, damages your chances of getting into the side, hope that's not the case

  • ali on October 29, 2008, 21:31 GMT

    yes u are rite mate....junior level players should watch the match and our cricket board also take some necessary actions for these kinda things.

  • CricketCity on October 29, 2008, 21:23 GMT

    Thanks Akash for nice candid views, its great to hear from a cricketer about his perception of the system and the game itself. Why is BCCI using two different types of balls if they both behave so differently, upto the club levels its fine but when they are looking for the talent for the team would not they want someone to perform well with the accessories players will be getting when they play for india. I am sure this has something to do with the internatl politics (i dont see a sponsorship reason as both are SG balls). Hope you or your nephew gets the tickets to see Saurav bat for the last time in a test at Kotla (I doubt india will bat again in this test)

  • Arun on October 29, 2008, 21:22 GMT

    hi aakash

    Brilliant perfomance by Gautam ! Some of his shots were just awesome . But i was stunned by Sachin's stroke play today just pure class from the genius . Good to see Delhi boys producing very good players for India .

    You would better buy your ticket if you want to see Gautam first 200 in Test cricket otherwise you'll receive your tickets once the match is finished !!!

    Cheers,

  • Dr C G Nanda Kumar on October 29, 2008, 21:19 GMT

    Akash, You were one of the best combinations with Viru and I really feel sorry that you could not continue. I particularly remember your gutsy showing in Australia. It is selfless of you to unstintingly praise your teammate who is like a left handed and more technically correct version of Viru.

    Hope you get your tickets in time to watch the rest of the match

    All the best to you!

  • KVS on October 29, 2008, 21:16 GMT

    Akash, this piece about junior cricket is really fantastic. We laypersons now learn how statistics can be influenced by the quality of the ball.

  • Cricket Fan on October 29, 2008, 21:16 GMT

    Question: Knowing our indian system why are you still aiting for a freebie... why dont you just buy a ticket and go for the game..it doesnt cost much. Does it? And we blame the system !

  • Raghuvir on October 29, 2008, 21:12 GMT

    Hi Aakash,

    It's a well-written posting. It gives us an insight into what your thoughts are, as well as the lack of thought process of the BCCI and the people running cricket in India.

    Getting tickets to the players doesn't need to be such a red-tape bureaucracy. The tickets could be left at the counter, at the stadium for you to go there and pick it up. That our administrators think more about their wallet's than think more about using their brains is a let-down.

    Wishing you well and hope to see you in the Indian team in the future,

    Raghuvir.

  • Vish on October 29, 2008, 21:08 GMT

    wot abt buyin ur nephew a ticket Aakash!? We all know how things are bac in India...but as a guardian we provide kids all they r entitled to, thus acting like a shield against the system...abt corruption at Jr level, few summers back such things happened to me in Ranchi...wid no guardian or godfatther to take care...i moved on in life...n now I happily do some coding for some software company in US, play cricket in spare time, watch it when schedule allows and talk to frnds back home(if they r in touch still...as everyone has moved on!) about our glorious sporting days :)

  • Aman Tyagi on October 29, 2008, 20:58 GMT

    I am glad to hear your comments Akash. Hopefully, you will contibute in making the changes to the system and not just writing something to earn few bucks! Please dont take me wrong.

  • Vij on October 29, 2008, 20:56 GMT

    Good Blog!! Shame on BCCI. Richest board, worst admistration

  • MT on October 29, 2008, 20:53 GMT

    Its shame that system doesn't work. However, if you are really keen in watching the game, I think you can afford to buy a ticket. Right ?

  • Raja on October 29, 2008, 20:31 GMT

    As always, a wonderful article. Keep it up.

  • jacob on October 29, 2008, 20:30 GMT

    thanks for letting us know of the two types of SG balls used in india. the indian bowlers did a good job maintaining the shine on one side in the 2nd test. Aussies had the ball all roughed up by the 35th over. i guess the balls they use in australia (kukobara??)work well that way. good luck with your ticket...hope you get to see Gambhir perform in the 2nd innings.May be another century ..or even one by Sewag

  • Barani on October 29, 2008, 20:28 GMT

    Hi Akash, Question: Did the Babus in board get tickets? I'm sure they did.

    I'm a regular visitor here, Its nice to see a cricketer blogging, we get an insider's view. Keep writing. Good luck for your Ranji games.

  • Abhishek on October 29, 2008, 20:20 GMT

    Hi Akash

    Being a Delhite, even I am as delighted to watch Gauti hit a ton at Kotla. He surely has made us proud.

    However, I would like to comment that if you (or your nephews) are so eager to watch your team-mate in action, why can't you purchase your tickets and stop cribbing about the system!!!

    Apologies if I sounded rude....but more often than not there is a simple solution to every complex problem!!!

  • Taha Shoeb on October 29, 2008, 20:10 GMT

    Well said Aaksh, i am consent with each and every word you have written in the article, and im sorry to express that this has been the nature of the system since the day it was found to the day C.K. Nayudu took over to this day. We can just hope and wait. May your tickets reach you soon! Happy Diwali!

  • Siman on October 29, 2008, 20:10 GMT

    It's pity that Gambhir teammates in Delhi didn't get to watch one of the best innings at Kotla. If systems works so badly in Delhi, I can't imagine what happens in the smaller cities/venues. BCCI should really look in to this matter and do something. Now coming back to Gambhir's batting, it shows how much he has matured as a cricketer in last four years. He has successfully transformed his success now from T20 to ODI and now to test cricket. I believe he will serve the country well in coming years! All the best, Gauti!!

  • Vinay on October 29, 2008, 20:09 GMT

    Its not often that the readers, lovers of cricket get to read thoughts from the cricketers themselves and from those cricketers who have given there life for cricket and who are not "stars in the glamorous world" but have toiled as hard as any other "star" or perhaps more than that. There are I guess very few cricketers from the Indian Subcontinent who can actually go beyond cricket and write stuff. But that stereotype image of sub continent cricketers is changing..kudos to your effort...i think yours is one of the most down to earth and most humble assessment of cricket the its backdrop at the local circuit..which often is lost in the gliterati of international cricket..please continue on sharing your thoughts...and yes your article on leadership was an eyeopener,really liked that one.. Thanks Vinay

  • Chidambaram Prakash on October 29, 2008, 20:03 GMT

    As an Indian born Australian I was heartened to see the Indian team fight to win at Mohali & strive hard & well again on the first day at Delhi. MS Dhoni makes a very good point in that India wins only when her team plays good consistent cricket with focus & concentration. I look forward to seeing a keen contest between the teams & hope the Indians keep on being through professionals when it comes to playing & do so with comnplete focus. As for my country men the Aussies I hope they recover & play like the champions that they still are.

  • Jk on October 29, 2008, 19:52 GMT

    Great insights Akash. I wonder why BCCI cannot standardise the balls used throughout the age groups. In fact, it makes sense to use a kookaburra at all levels since it is the most wodely used ball in the world. Only India and England don't use it..Surely, the BCCI has enough money for cricket balls! I wonder if ODI's in India are played with white SG balls, or do they use kookaburras for that?

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  • Jk on October 29, 2008, 19:52 GMT

    Great insights Akash. I wonder why BCCI cannot standardise the balls used throughout the age groups. In fact, it makes sense to use a kookaburra at all levels since it is the most wodely used ball in the world. Only India and England don't use it..Surely, the BCCI has enough money for cricket balls! I wonder if ODI's in India are played with white SG balls, or do they use kookaburras for that?

  • Chidambaram Prakash on October 29, 2008, 20:03 GMT

    As an Indian born Australian I was heartened to see the Indian team fight to win at Mohali & strive hard & well again on the first day at Delhi. MS Dhoni makes a very good point in that India wins only when her team plays good consistent cricket with focus & concentration. I look forward to seeing a keen contest between the teams & hope the Indians keep on being through professionals when it comes to playing & do so with comnplete focus. As for my country men the Aussies I hope they recover & play like the champions that they still are.

  • Vinay on October 29, 2008, 20:09 GMT

    Its not often that the readers, lovers of cricket get to read thoughts from the cricketers themselves and from those cricketers who have given there life for cricket and who are not "stars in the glamorous world" but have toiled as hard as any other "star" or perhaps more than that. There are I guess very few cricketers from the Indian Subcontinent who can actually go beyond cricket and write stuff. But that stereotype image of sub continent cricketers is changing..kudos to your effort...i think yours is one of the most down to earth and most humble assessment of cricket the its backdrop at the local circuit..which often is lost in the gliterati of international cricket..please continue on sharing your thoughts...and yes your article on leadership was an eyeopener,really liked that one.. Thanks Vinay

  • Siman on October 29, 2008, 20:10 GMT

    It's pity that Gambhir teammates in Delhi didn't get to watch one of the best innings at Kotla. If systems works so badly in Delhi, I can't imagine what happens in the smaller cities/venues. BCCI should really look in to this matter and do something. Now coming back to Gambhir's batting, it shows how much he has matured as a cricketer in last four years. He has successfully transformed his success now from T20 to ODI and now to test cricket. I believe he will serve the country well in coming years! All the best, Gauti!!

  • Taha Shoeb on October 29, 2008, 20:10 GMT

    Well said Aaksh, i am consent with each and every word you have written in the article, and im sorry to express that this has been the nature of the system since the day it was found to the day C.K. Nayudu took over to this day. We can just hope and wait. May your tickets reach you soon! Happy Diwali!

  • Abhishek on October 29, 2008, 20:20 GMT

    Hi Akash

    Being a Delhite, even I am as delighted to watch Gauti hit a ton at Kotla. He surely has made us proud.

    However, I would like to comment that if you (or your nephews) are so eager to watch your team-mate in action, why can't you purchase your tickets and stop cribbing about the system!!!

    Apologies if I sounded rude....but more often than not there is a simple solution to every complex problem!!!

  • Barani on October 29, 2008, 20:28 GMT

    Hi Akash, Question: Did the Babus in board get tickets? I'm sure they did.

    I'm a regular visitor here, Its nice to see a cricketer blogging, we get an insider's view. Keep writing. Good luck for your Ranji games.

  • jacob on October 29, 2008, 20:30 GMT

    thanks for letting us know of the two types of SG balls used in india. the indian bowlers did a good job maintaining the shine on one side in the 2nd test. Aussies had the ball all roughed up by the 35th over. i guess the balls they use in australia (kukobara??)work well that way. good luck with your ticket...hope you get to see Gambhir perform in the 2nd innings.May be another century ..or even one by Sewag

  • Raja on October 29, 2008, 20:31 GMT

    As always, a wonderful article. Keep it up.

  • MT on October 29, 2008, 20:53 GMT

    Its shame that system doesn't work. However, if you are really keen in watching the game, I think you can afford to buy a ticket. Right ?