The Empty Nagpur Stadium

Zaheer Khan just took out South Africa’s openers with an exhilarating burst of pace, but there’s nearly no one in the Nagpur stadium cheering him on.

That’s too bad, because Nagpur actually has a great, newly-constructed facility  that looks like it would cater to the Indian spectator, unlike most stadiums in the country. (So new, in fact, that cricket administrators banned fans from eating food in their seats!) Unfortunately, whereas the old Nagpur stadium was near the heart of the city, this one’s 15 km away.

Phil Long of the BBC noted the long rickshaw ride when he covered the 2008 India-Australia series:

The Wardha Road linking Nagpur and the stadium has been earmarked as prime development land and in the future the new VCA Ground may not be the relative blot on the landscape it is now.

For the time being though it’s either an expensive slog out to the ground by auto-rickshaw or taxi or the usual helter- skelter bus journey packed to the rafters with eager cricket fans keen to make the start of play.


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