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Few takers for CL T-20 qualifiers

Unlike IPL,when the Mohali Stadium is jampacked,CL T-20 first day of the qualifying matches had a handful audience.

Written by Express News Service | Mohali |
September 18, 2013 1:15:18 am

OnTuesday evening when cricketers like Dale Steyn,Ishant Sharma,Shikar Dhawan,Kumara Sangakkara,Brendon McCullum and Saeed Ajmal converged at the PCA Stadium in Mohali for the Champions League T-20 qualifying matches,there were few takers in the spectators stand to witness cricket. Unlike IPL,when the Mohali Stadium is jampacked,CL T-20 first day of the qualifying matches had a handful audience. The evening witnessed two matches with Faisalabad Wolves taking on Otago Volts and Sunrisers locking horns with Kandurata Maroons. The PCA Stadium in Mohali has the seating capacity of 28,000 spectators,but the first day of the qualifying matches saw sparse crowd.

The same stadium goes house-full during the IPL matches held in April and May every year. The Mohali Stadium is holding the CL T-20 matches for the first time since its inception. Also the fact that popular teams like Mumbai Indians and Chennai Superstars do not feature in the qualifiers has also attributed to this cold response from the fans.

Speaking with Sportline,a cricket fan said,“I would be going to watch the match between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Faisalabad Wolves. It would be exciting to watch the contest between Saeed Ajmal and Shikar Dhawan and also between Misbah-ul-Haq and Dale Steyn. I wish Mumbai Indians also had a match or two here and I could watch Sachin Tendulkar take guard here. I am also looking forward to the Group match to be played on September 25.”

Wolves cheered

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It was a rare sight,but a positive one,with a handful of Indian fans cheering for the Pakistani cricketers,who were playing as part of Faisalabad Wolves,in their encounter against Otago Volts of New Zealand,in the first qualifier. As the match commenced on a hot afternoon,there were just a few fans who turned up and the strength did not improve much as the event progressed at the PCA Stadium here. However,some of the fans were backing the Pakistanis and applauded every time Wolves skipper Misbah-ul-Haq hit a six or a boundary. Batting first,the Wolves,Pakistan’s T20 champions,set a target of 140 for the Kiwis to chase. They fans also clapped when Samiullah Khan and Saeed Ajmal got a wicket. In today’s tie,the Wolves were comprehensively beaten by eight wickets.

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