Cricket fans in Kolkata upset over IPL shift

March 22nd, 2009 - 9:18 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, March 22 (IANS) Cricketers and sports lovers in Kolkata Sunday expressed disappointment at the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI)’s decision to shift the Indian Premier League (IPL) out of India.
Former national selector Sambaran Banerjee described the BCCI’s decision as “ridiculous”.

“How can the Indian Premier League be played in England or South Africa? Can you imagine Manchester United Playing English Premier League matches at the Eden Gardens?” Banerjee said.

Key Kolkata Kight Riders’ (KKR) player Laxmi Ratan Shukla said he was feeling “very sad”. “It feels bad to even think that IPL will be staged abroad. This is very unfortunate. It only shows that sports always gets the back seat in our country,” he said.

“Now I can’t go to the Eden and see the matches. I have to whet my appetite by watching the games on television,” said Shiv Sahay, who takes cricket lessons at a camp in the southern part of the city.

College girl Kamalika Sen, a big fan of the KKR, was downcast. “I can’t see them in action first hand this year. I will miss my heroes. There is a lot of difference between watching the matches on the ground and seeing them on television”.

However, the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) declined to comment on the decision, saying it was a matter before the cricket board and the government.

“The country’s security is involved. On one side, there is the election, on the other cricket. Who are we to decide who is right or wrong?” said CAB joint secretary Biswarup Dey.

The CAB, slated to organise the KKR’s seven home matches at the Eden Gardens, would stand to lose Rs.35 million, he said.

“But we will get our share of the television rights. For last year, we got Rs.100 million,” Dey told IANS.

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