Taking Tests to Town?

After Eden Gardens and India’s win over there, aided in no small factor by the crowd support that the team fed off, there have been a spate of voices in the Indian Blogosphere crying for the BCCI to cross off all Tier 2 cities from the list of hosts for test matches.

One of the celebrities(and I mean this in a nice way!) on the Blogosphere, Gaurav Sabnis (well, before he pretty much quit writing all together atleast) made this post on twitter: ‘Lovely to see the big crowds at Eden every day. Bom, Madras, Cal, Del, Bang should be the only test venues. No Nagpur-Kanpur type bullshit.’ which set a lot of comments back at him. Then one of my favourite cricket writers Siddarth Monga, wrote this…which is a pretty convincing argument in itself. And a few more articles that I happened to read in support of this idea as well, which I promise to link up if I remember where I read them.

Then today, the normally hyperventilating Ravi Shastri managed to get a sane point in during his commentary stint. He is of the opinion that tests should even be played at cities even further down the pecking order, as far as cricketing culture goes such as the Gwalior’s, Indore’s and Cuttack’s as well. His opinion is based on the fact that there is a massive interest in international cricket here(duh!) so much that people throng the stadium even to watch the Indian team practice(and indeed, they promptly showed a few clips of India practicing yesterday). Plus, in continuation with Rahul Dravid’s views yesterday, this will bring a greater connect between the longer version of the game and the youth in these parts.

I’m going to toe the middle line here. I think you need to have a few marquee tests, as S. Venkatragahavan puts it the Pongal test at the Chepauk for instance, and there’s no arguing the fact that as a player you would much rather play games at a full Eden Gardens with shitty facilities than a empty but posh stadium in Mohali. So in carrying ahead RSD’s suggestion to have 6 tests every year in India lets say 3 of them in Mumbai/Chennai/Kolkata/Banglore/Delhi(I’d rather not but *sigh*). That’ll give them a game every 2 years at the worst. Remaining 3 games, spread them around all the other stadia in India which hold one day games as well. Hence they get a game every three or four years…

What drawing up such a schedule requires is some grey cells so that you ensure that if a place isn’t hosting a test, make sure you squeeze in a one dayer there that year so as to keep people o’er there pleased as well. What we don’t want is a situation a la Nagpur(Jamtha) where the same city hosts almost half a dozen games in two years.

I realize that there’ll be plenty of security concerns for hosting foreign cricketers in smaller towns as opposed to one dayers where they are whisked in and out in a day, but I’m sure if the BCCI decides to pour enough money for this it’s quite possible. I guess political pull within the BCCI will be more influential to who gets which game…

This would be a good topic for a GD in a B-School btw! Hope someones listening 😀

Edit: LOL! Less than half a dozen hours after I post, Mr. Vantage Point reiterates his agenda: Trust Shastri to get it SPECTACULARLY wrong – “I believe time has come for tests in India to go to second tier cities.” NO, IT HAS NOT!!!

Open for debate I’d say…



Spent two great years at SIES where I did my HSC from. While going through some backup data, I found this piece I’d written for JAM when I was in 12th. Here it is….

Goes under the category of ‘Unofficial Prospectus’

Official Name: South Indian Education Society College of Arts, Science and Commerce

Better known as: Yesaiiyes (old)

Location: A 10 minute walk from Sion Railway

Station through heavy duty traffic or a 5 minute walk from Sion bus depot or a 5 minute walk through a road full of muck from GTB.(close to everywhere so even if something is on strike the others are working! Damn!)

Crowd: About 40% saudhindians plus the usual mix of gujjus,marathis and marwadis. Most are pretty well off which is a sort of prerequisite, especially if you have taken vocational subjects with steeeeeeep fees and in order to bribe your way through. Most are either complete scholars or are total wastes.Beech kaa kuch nahin!

But you get accepted into cliques very easily which is nice for someone who came here with no friends from school

Campus: Hahahahaahhaaha!!!! What does that mean? Gurukripa and CCD nearby are the most popular hangouts. Cineplanet and the street outside are also generally crowded.

Canteen: Is located in the basement(yes, you read that right), under the staircase. Food is pretty much ok. samosa pav beats vada pav hollow here (probably the only place in Mumbai)! Idlis and dosas are in great demand.Rates are standard. Few plastic tables and chairs. Child labour is highly prevalent.  Strange notices on the walls such as ‘Give others chance to also sit-By order’! Is claustrophobic, especially during break time so I’d prefer the sandwichwalla outside on the street anytime.

Layout: 4 floors with a quadrangle in the middle used only for NCC and festival.The ledges and parapets decrease in height from ground floor to the fourth floor(so don’t ever lean against the wall on the 4th floor or….you know).Plenty of exercise since due to the dumb architect, some classes are only accessible by some staircases so prepare to be climbing up and down for the first month atleast.

No auditorium. Reading room is closed more often then it is open.library has a stupid system where you get a book only on the next day and that too between 9am and 3pm only(not even at 3:10 which is break time).Water coolers work for about 15 days every two months or so.

A dingy hall with carom and chess boards is complimented by calling it a ‘Gymkhana’!! Famous for window-panes with no glass or cracked ones at the most! A maximum of 5 to 6 dustbins may be found all over the college.

Faculty: Is full of professors who seem to think that teaching means solving ‘solved’ examples from some textbook or dictating notes from some obscure website. Quite a significant number of really good professors are there, but they tend to be constantly overshadowed by their eternally bumbling colleagues. Be prepared to learn to understand a strong southie accent. For example, the letters of the alphabet are: yay,byee,cyee,dyee,yee,yuff,yum,yes, yux etc. Derive great pleasure in setting 100 marks papers for two hours whereas other colleges have a 50 marks paper for 2 and a half hours!

Attendance: Is prescribed as 75% compulsary but since nothing is done except putting up a blacklist and giving ‘stern’ warnings is not really necessary except for physics and chemistry where you aren’t allowed for practicals.

Festival: Held annually and known as ‘Visions’but unfortunately target demographic is Metal Heads and their pals, so if you’re not…it’s a mixed bag. Still, worth a visit.

Xtra Cirrulular: A lot of societies which encourage everyone to sign up….only problem is they hardly do anything besides hosting inauguration functions! Though in defence of the ‘French Society’, they do try very hard.

Courses offered: Arts and science-Jr. college,BMM,BMS,BA,BSc etc etc.(not too sure’!)

Alumni: Shreya ‘Devdas’ Ghosal and a lot of other Southie TV stars.

Do’s and don’ts: If your dad is rich, no problem, you could probably bribe your way through anything. Low attendance’ No problem! Low Marks’ No problem! Otherwise is advisable to butter up all the professors. Wearing specs can’t hurt. Coming late to a lecture is a no-no. Otherwise pretty much, do anything you want!

Reading it now, seems way too hostile. Dunno why I was in such a foul mood.  My mouth is watering at the thought of Samosa-Chole from Gurukripa. Feeling oh so nostalgic now….