Perth: Former India captain and batting legend Sunil Gavaskar walked into the lunch room on Level One at the WACA here at 3pm on Saturday, immediately after he had finished his match opening commentary duty for the India vs UAE fixture which began at 2:30pm.

Sunil Gavaskar

Unfortunately, the lunch service had closed at 2:30pm itself. A couple of journalists who were just about finished their lunch tried to step in and speak to the catering staff, but to no avail. Gavaskar though was calm. “They (catering staff) can’t really be blamed. We have non-stop coverage and don’t realise the time. They are just following instructions and going as per the time told to them,” Sunny told the scribes.

Even local Tom Moody couldn’t help
Just then, former Australia all-rounder and fellow commentator Tom Moody walked in and Gavaskar’s eyes lit up. “Ah, Thomas, maybe you can help me, mate. Lunch is over,” he told Moody, who couldn’t do about the situation either. The two players who played against each other in the 1987 World Cup were later seen having tea and biscuits for lunch even as the Indian team was busy devouring the UAE team.

Empty stands at WACA worrying
The Western Australian Cricket Association ground is not a big one with a capacity of less than 20,000 and of that, less than 50 per cent seats (8,718 to be precise) were filled up for Saturday’s India vs UAE Group B World Cup clash. Such a low turn-out in a World Cup encounter is not an encouraging sign but the imbalance of a contest that causes it. 

India fans show enjoying the match against United Arab Emirates at WACA on Saturday. Pic/Getty Images

ICC chief executive Dave Richardson was critical of exactly this when he justified the number of World Cup teams being reduced from 14 this time to 10 in the next edition (2019) for the tournament in England. “We want to see more quality contests in a World Cup rather than one-sided encounters,” he said recently. And looking at UAE’s pathetic display yesterday, one can’t blame the ICC for not offering any leeway to associate nations.