This Se(h)wag does not wield the willow (World Cup Diary)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

NEW DELHI - Almost the first person journalists bumped into Thursday as they entered the Ferozeshah Kotla stadium was Virender Sewag. And no, it’s not Delhi’s favourite cricketer but a security officer who gently pointed out that there’s no ‘H’ in his name.

The smiling security officer wears a black jacket with the name plate Virender Sewag.

This Sewag does not wield the willow, instead keeping a hawk eye on the entry gate. Most journalists walking into the stadium were struck by the name and the inevitable questions followed.

The affable Sewag enjoys the attention he receives. “You have read it right, its Virender Sewag, not Sehwag,” he clarified, smiling.

“I have got used to people checking out my name.”


No takers for vuvuzelas

Vuvuzelas stole the show during the football World Cup in South Africa last summer but found no takers at the Ferozeshah Kotla, hosting its first World Cup match between South Africa and West Indies.

Anil Goyal was the lone hawker outside the stadium selling vuvuzelas and he managed to sell only a few pieces.

“I thought people would buy it in large numbers as it is the first World Cup match in Delhi. But the response has been disappointing,” Goyal told IANS.

Maybe Rs.100 was a bit too much for the noisy trumpet.


Harried media

Media personnel had a tough time getting into the stadium for the South Africa-West Indies match.

The venue was supposed to be open for media personnel two hours before the match. That was not to be, and the media had to wait for close an hour or so outside as the turnstiles would read only match tickets, not the media accreditation cards.

Nobody had a clue where the match tickets disappeared. Not even officials of the International Cricket Council (ICC) and the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA).

That was not all. The match tickets were distributed after a long wait, but the turnstiles would not read them. So it was another long wait for the media before security men used their cards to provide access.

“The arrangement was better in Bangladesh where they had a booth for the media to collect the match tickets,” said a reporter who was in Dhaka to cover the inaugural match of the World Cup.


Radio leaves television behind

Radio, sometimes known as the poor cousin of television, made its presence felt at the Ferozeshah Kotla grounds. There was only one official television broadcaster, ESPN STAR Sports (ESS), ICCs global broadcast and production partner. But there were two radio broadcasters, All India Radio and Cricket Radio, which is owned by the Channel 2 Group.

The Channel 2 Group in association with Channel 4 Radio Network is bringing live radio coverage of the Cricket World Cup in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region. Cricket Radio powered by Channel 4 will broadcast the matches live and exclusive from the respective venues to millions of cricket crazy fans across the Mena region and other countries.

Filed under: Cricket, Football

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