kolkata is where kolkata was
Two Kolkata clubs — whose names have not yet surfaced in cyberspace — decided to mourn for Hughes before a match. Picture courtesy: Cricket Australia Twitter Account

As the world mourned Phil Hughes, two innocuous clubs in Kolkata observed a moment of silence before their match.  Abhishek Mukherjee writes on how some things never change.

There was a riot in 1966-67 at Eden Gardens. The 1996 World Cup semifinal had to be stopped due to crowd violence and the match awarded to Sri Lanka. They celebrated every Indian wicket in 2005-06 after Sourav Ganguly was dropped. Things got so out of hand against Pakistan in 1998-99 that the spectators had to be ejected out of the arena as the Test was finished in an empty arena.

Kolkata is volatile. She had witnessed many a gruesome day, pre- or post-independence. She has seen attacks on the British, religious riots, violent incident during the Naxalite era, blatant crime of all orders, and an insatiable passion for football that has led to stampedes in the past.

There have been grumblings regarding the fact that the Eden Gardens crowd is nowhere as erudite as it used to be; grounds are seldom full during Tests (though Kolkata Knight Riders usually play in front of packed houses); they do not chant anymore when their heroes run in to bowl; performances by tourists are seldom lauded the way they used to be.

And yet, two Kolkata clubs — whose names have not yet surfaced in cyberspace — had decided to mourn for Hughes before the match. Bails were not placed; players and officials lined up on each side of the strip; helmets were placed at each end in front of the crease; and a ball lay on the pitch.

Kolkata is what Kolkata was, it seems. Some things never change.

Complete coverage of Phillip Hughes’ tragic demise

(Abhishek Mukherjee is the Chief Editor and Cricket Historian at CricketCountry. He blogs here and can be followed on Twitter here.)