Eden Gardens goes ‘healthy’ to draw the crowds
Having lost the marquee India-England World Cup clash, and being reduced to three decidedly lower-profile games, you’d have expected gloom and doom at Eden Gardens. Perhaps, but they aren’t giving up without a fight. There’s a free health check-up with every ticket to draw spectators to the remaining matches. So, for the cost of a ticket (Rs 750-1000) you get to watch any of the remaining three games, featuring South Africa, Ireland, Netherlands, Kenya and Zimbabwe, as well as a free blood pressure check, echocardiogram and consultation with doctors. “We have decided to do something benevolent for the spectators,” CAB joint secretary Sujan Mukherjee told the Indian Express. “Our president (Jagmohan Dalmiya) is in talks with private hospitals and health centres to put the plan into practice.” The cricket may not get your heart racing, but there’s no harm getting it checked. And this incentive could have a two-fold purpose. Poor attendance at non-India games has been a problem with the ICC writing to the BCCI to express its concern over the matter. So a ‘healthy’ benefit to watching these games might just drive the people to the stadiums.
Akhila Ranganna is assistant editor (Audio) at ESPNcricinfo