Ticket sales for Kolkata Test tepid despite CAB's efforts

The ticket sales for India's 250th Test at home - the second Test between India and New Zealand at Eden Gardens - have been lukewarm, according to a source in the Cricket Association of Bengal.

Sourav Ganguly: "I can only hope there will be a crowd during the five days [at Eden Gardens]"   -  K. R. Deepak

Despite efforts by the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) to bring in spectators for India’s second Test against New Zealand beginning at the Eden Gardens on Friday, ticket sales have been lacklustre.

From fan zones in the K and L blocks at the Eden to organising a photo exhibition commemorating India’s 500 Tests, CAB is leaving no stone unturned to bring people to the ground. Players of both teams as well as former Bengal captains will be given specially-minted silver coins as India will play its 250th five-day match on home soil.

But all such efforts have so far failed to attract spectators, with the ticket counters wearing a desolate look. “Ticket sales haven’t been great,” a source in the know said.

CAB president Sourav Ganguly has recently expressed concern over the general apathy towards watching Tests and hoped the board's endeavours would see positive results. “We are trying our best. I can only hope there will be a crowd during the five days,” the former India captain had said.

The fact that the second Test is getting underway on the day of Mahalaya, a precursor to the Durga Puja - the biggest festival in this part of the world - is also a contributing factor to the general disinterest among the locals.

A motley group of autograph seekers were seen quizzing the security personnel on Wednesday morning about the photo exhibition slated to take place on the first day of the five-day affair.

Legendary batsman Sunil Gavaskar and head coach Anil Kumble are expected to hold a talk show during lunch inside a canopy filled with select pictures of India’s fabled journey in the longest format of the game. This is the first time a Test match is being played at the Eden Gardens in the month of September.

The India Meterological Department has forecast thundershowers and thunderstorms on the first four days of the match.

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