MS Dhoni © Getty Images
MS Dhoni is presently out of action due to injury © Getty Images

Ranchi: Nov 15, 2014

With Ranchi’s famous son MS Dhoni out of action with an injury, the buzz is missing ahead of the fifth and final One-Day International (ODI) between India and Sri Lanka.

Despite the match being held on a Sunday, the swanky JSCA International Stadium Complex would remain empty in Dhoni’s absence, according to the host association.

“We have had about 40 per cent ticket sales and taking account of the complimentary ones we think about 20,000 will turn out for the match. Of course, Dhoni is the biggest crowd puller here,” Jharkhand State Cricket Association vice-president Manoj Kumar told PTI.

It was during the first International match that the stadium hosted on January 19, Dhoni was seen turning up in his favourite Hummer on the match eve as fans made a beeline screaming their hero’s name. But unlike in the past, there has been no buzz this time around as the Indian team came and returned quietly after their three-hour long practice session in the morning.

Dhoni has suffered a hairline crack in his thumb and the selectors were forced to keep the Indian skipper out for the Lanka series and as well as for the first Test versus Australia beginning December 4. The Indian skipper however is expected to turn up for the match tomorrow and cheer for his teammates and he’s learnt to be hosting the a dinner for his teammates at his sprawling bungalow in Harmu.

Another reason the JSCA official gave for the lack of interest was the five-phase assembly elections to begin from November 25. “Many are busy with election campaigns giving the match a miss,” he said. This will be the third International match at the posh-looking stadium in the southwest outskirts of the city since it hosted the first ODI on January 19 last year.