After a fretful period of a few days, where it seemed that India might pull the plug, Cricket South Africa breathe a sigh of relief when BCCI nodded the tour. In a marathon meeting that happened between both boards on last Friday, it was reported that the CSA officials assured the BCCI of the essential arrangements in the wake of the Omicron variant.
It would not be wrong to say that the tour for CSA is more about conducting it at all costs, whereas the Indian Team sees it as their best chance of winning their maiden Test win in South Africa. The nation has enjoyed an impressive portfolio in the last couple of years with wins in Australia and England.
Pholetsi Moseki, the acting chief executive said that they are looking to include a crowd for the India tour, however that is subjected to government approval. At the moment, stadiums are allowed to have no more than 2000 vaccinated people.
Pholetsi, in his own words, “The issue of fans is something that’s on our agenda and once we’re done with the meeting, we’ll make a call from there,”. It is interesting to note that CSA earlier assured of only 2000 people in the stadium. But now that they have received the BCCI nod, are they looking to go the extra mile of having crowds in the stadium in order to increase the commercial value of the India tour matches?
There is no doubt that fans bring a whole new level of energy. In the case of team India, there is hardly any cricketing country where the Indian crowd is unable to outnumber the host nation crowd. The noise and excitement not only boost the playing eleven but also make the match much more enjoyable for the viewer.
Last year, when the IPL was announced for Dubai, broadcasters in order to compensate for the absence of crowd noise, added audios of the crowd cheering on fours and sixes. Total silence from the background means that the commentators have to bring much more energy to the mic skills in order to make up the absence of crowd cheering.
Cricket South Africa is assured that the TV rights from the India tour will balance some of the losses that they have incurred over the years. But they are leaving no stone unturned in order to make the most of the tour. Whether the BCCI would object to CSA about crowds? That we may have to see in the coming days.