Cricket fever could not be seen visibly pitched on Wednesday when India began their 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup campaign against South Africa in Southampton with most shops in the four cities closed due to Eid and very few restaurants – except for a few in coastal areas – having live screenings.
“We have a crowd that enters in for a meal when they come to see the church but there has been no request to switch the TV channel to cricket. The local crowd is not interested. There is a drop in the number of visitors today since it is a holiday,” Greg, the manager of a restaurant in the Capital city told The Navhind Times.
“I have foreigners coming in to watch when England has been playing but the response today was lukewarm. The cricket World Cup does not have the same charm as the football World Cup has. The involvement during the football World Cup is far more intense. I wonder what would happen if India qualifies for the football World Cup,” said Joel D’souza, the manager of a restaurant in the Northern coastal belt.
Restaurants accessed by The Navhind Times in Mapusa, Margao, Vasco, Ponda and parts of the Southern coastal belts were seen screening the cricket World Cup matches in the evening. However, people’s participation was tepid.
“People who enjoy watching the shorter version of the game will definitely be following the game on TV, at home or in groups. A lot will depend on how far India progresses in the tournament because people’s interest is linked to the progress of their country,” stated a restaurant owner from Mapusa. “I will put up a big screen if India makes it to the final,” he added.