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Cricket frenzy beats poll campaigning

L.Renganathan
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No other work: Fans watching the India-Sri Lanka World Cup final match, at Valayapatti near Kadavur in Karur district on Saturday. Photo: R.M.Rajarathinam
No other work: Fans watching the India-Sri Lanka World Cup final match, at Valayapatti near Kadavur in Karur district on Saturday. Photo: R.M.Rajarathinam

Cricket frenzy got the better of Assembly election campaigning even in interior, rural areas of Karur district such as the Kadavur hills bordering Dindigul district on Saturday as people remained glued to the television sets to catch a glimpse of the action as India and Sri Lanka fought for the World Cup.

Valayapatti is a hamlet perched on the Kadavur hills and is calling distance from Dindigul district's Ayyalur reserve forest area. ``There are around 40 houses in the area and most of them have television sets. Yet we have got together to enjoy the game, cheer for our team and havefun,'' beamingly remarks K. Suresh of Valayapatti in whose house the youths had congregated.

Swathed in green even in the summer days, Kadavur hill region's roads and hamlets wore a deserted look as the sparse gatherings at public places at Kadavur, Valayapatti, Sevapur other villages testified.

His friends were more interested in discussing the game than willing to be drawn into a discussion on current political happenings despite the fact that Assembly elections are hardly a fortnight away. ``So what? Let politics wait for one day as we enjoy the game,'' says another youth A. Ramesh who is a carpenter and quickly completed his job to catch the action live. His pal claimed that he had compromised for a day's off to watch the finals.

Teashops were deserted in general but there were eager groups in those that had television sets in them. It was definite attraction especially on Saturday when the final of the cricket World Cup was played. The air in those teashops was thick with cricket and invariably the discussions centered round the on-field developments. ``Expert opinions'' on issues such ranging from team selection to possibilities were freely aired by the young and old alike.

Keeping in mind the short election campaign duration the candidates preferred to do election work but even their cadres and supporters openly rued that they had to be on election duty when the finals was being played and India was a participant.

Dull crowds that quickly dissipated greeted candidates from rival groups in several places in Karur, Krishnarayapuram and Kadavur areas as the game progressed into the evening.

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