Here are some excerpts from John Kay, the cricket journalist on Gabba Stadium, “It is not a cricket ground at all. It is a concentration camp! Wire fences abound. Spectators are herded and sorted out into lots as though for all the world this was a slave market and not a game of cricket. The stands are of wood and filthy to sit on. The dining rooms are barns, without a touch of color or a picture on the wall. Everywhere there is dust and dirt…Forgive me if I am bitter about the Woolloongabba ground…the city has many good points, and the people who live there are generous and hospitable to the highest degree, but once one goes to the cricket ground the advantages are overwhelmingly lost in the mass of rules and regulations.”
The Gabba is one of the most spectacular stadiums in Australia being host to at least one match of any International Series played in Australia. An array of games are conducted at the Gabba ground including football, rugby, baseball, cycling and so on. The Stadium now has undergone massive renovation and there are certainly no similarity with that of this description by Kay. However, digging out odds of the stadium, the British Journo in fact represented cricketers as well as cricket fans on their plights that subtly ails them obstructing their enjoyments.
Cheering up a team on a beach volleyball is lot easier standing under the sun but cheering your team on a cricket match, sitting on wooden benches is certainly a tough job. Spectators expect just pure and entertaining games and they certainly deserve it. Fans fly from country to country following their favorite players just to watch some shots. The roughness of a broken plastic seat and a quick innovative adjustment to sit certainly cannot bar fans from enjoying thrills of a live match, but it will become good irritants for memories.
Apart from infrastructure and “hardware” issues on the stadium, formalities like undergoing security checks and restrictions on consumables are other irritants for spectators. There has been a number of incidences of mobs infuriated by angry viewers that went up to the extent of interruption of matches. Back in summer of 2015, the match between Pakistan and Sri Lanka was interrupted for about half an hour due to trouble instigated by the crowd. It certainly, was not against the match authorities and formality irritants, but poor quality stadium, stringent security checks and imposed discipline codes can be catalytic for audience mobs.
It can be contemplated that for the love of cricket, fans will endure certain hardships. But what about players? The condition of resting pavilion, rest room, canteen and the dressing room can wreck certain moods that mold psyche of a player. This definitely has a direct impact on the match through the player. Therefore, stadium authorities should maintain congenial aesthetics at least in spaces reserved for players. It is true that players should focus on the game rather than these menial supplements, but they certainly deserve well maintained spaces.
Presently, every international stadium maintains a high level of decorum both externally and internally. It is necessary for authorities to impose high security measures at times, but lack of amenities in stadiums have not become an issue in recent times. Thanks to ICC and cricket boards that has been consistent with their strict vigilance. Cricket itself has modernized with technology like DRS and drones emerging as issues for debates and discussions. Maintaining quality and optimal amenities in stadiums have become a benchmark of their stature to hoist world class matches.