Irfan Pathan's Reply Tweet Goes Viral
Following the third ODI match between Sri Lanka and India, former India all-rounder Yuvraj Singh expressed disappointment in the low turnouts at the Greenfield International Stadium in Thiruvananthapuram. After posting a question to fans on Twitter on whether ODI cricket was dying, former Indian cricketer, Irfan Pathan posted a reply that quickly went viral.
The reply read, "Bhai pads pehan lo. Aajegi jantaaa (Bro wear pads [come back playing], the crowd will come)," and currently has close to nine thousand likes.
Irfan Pathan is an Indian cricketer that retired in February 2021. Following his cricket retirement, Pathan became a commentator, cricket analyst, actor, and dancer. Before his retirement, Pathan was a member of the Indian team when they won the inaugural 2007 ICC Twenty20 World Cup and 2013 ICC Champions Trophy.
Yuvraj Singh, on the other hand, is a former cricket player who retired in July 2019. He was known as one of the greatest crowd-pullers for India, along with MS Dhoni, as he played a huge part in filling stadiums not just in India, but all over the world. This was because of his attractive stroke play and how he entertained fans on the field.
The concern over the lack of audience was raised when only 17,000 people turned up at the Greenfield International Stadium, which has a 38,000 capacity. Given how India had dominated the ODI matches, this was unexpected.
According to Kerala Cricket Association media manager Krishna Prasad, "We never had a half-empty stadium. There are several reasons. We don't see much interest in ODIs nowadays."
"Moreover, the series was done and dusted in Kolkata (with India taking an unassailable 2-0 lead), and with the opponents being Sri Lanka many people chose not to come to the stadium," he added.
Another reason the lack of an audience was so unexpected is that India had broken several records in this ODI series against Sri Lanka.
Reports say that the main reasons for the low turnout were a boycott and the high-ticket prices. It was also speculated that the third match being a dead runner was the reason for the lack of spectators.
Aside from this, sources say that the spectators didn’t come due to the absence of crowd favourite Sanju Samson. The Kerala star is nursing an injury and is out of the New Zealand series. There is no confirmation of when he will return to the field.
This was not the first time that an ODI match between India and Sri Lanka lacked an audience. When the two teams played at the Assam Cricket Association Stadium on January 10, sources said around 40% of the stands were empty.
While there was a lack of fans in the stadium for the ODI matches, there were plenty of people that cheered for India when they won the ODI series with a record-breaking score.
Former India batter Wasim Jaffer was among the several people who expressed their congratulations and he tweeted, "Total domination! Well played Team India, congratulations on a record-breaking win."