Small hotels score big as pitch fever soars in capital

It is sixer season for budget hospitality business in Ranchi.

The state government's wicket may have fallen, but outstation cricket-crazy fans are thronging the capital for its brand-new ODI innings ' the maiden India-England ODI on January 19 ' for which tickets will be up for grabs for four days starting Thursday.

Wednesday morning saw a huge surge of people, mostly from Jamshedpur, Dhanbad, Hazaribagh, Calcutta and Cuttack, reaching Ranchi in the hope of buying the coveted tickets for the match and putting themselves up in budget hotels.

Of the 35,000 seats at International Cricket Stadium, Dhurwa, Jharkhand State Cricket Association (JSCA) is selling tickets for 19,000 ' the rest will be reserved ' which explains the mad scramble.

Tickets, priced at Rs 1,200, Rs 1,500 and Rs 2,000, will be sold between 9am and 2pm from January 10 to 13 from 10 counters at the stadium complex in Dhurwa, 12km from the city.

This has heralded a festivity unlike any other witnessed by the capital so far. Call it the treasure hunt for the ODI ticket.

This has several steps, as groups of eager-beaver students, small-time businessmen and executives who have arrived in Ranchi on Monday morning, small overnight bags in tow, know well. One, catching the train, bus or own vehicle to the capital. Two, putting up in a budget hotel. Three, being the early bird in reaching Dhurwa stadium on Thursday and hoping to get the precious ticket within budget ' a student for instance who has saved up Rs 1,200 may find it difficult to get Rs 800 extra if the cheaper option runs out.

Step two spells a windfall for budget hotels ' around a dozen each near Ranchi station and Kanta Toli bus stand ' all chock-a-block with guests. Prominent ones such as Hotel Rajdhani, Maa Shree, Beena Inn, Swastik, Raj Palace, Ranchi Inn, Hotel Satkar and Bhagwati Lodge, with single and double rooms, AC and non-AC, can put up 30-35 guests. Price ranges between Rs 200 and 500-plus.

From the normal 50 per cent occupancy, the hotels are now bursting at their seams.

"We are full. In some rooms, we even agreed to squeeze in extra beds. But now, we have exhausted that option too," said an executive at Raj Palace Hotel.

"From the business point of view, this is the best time for us," said Rakesh Singh, an executive at Mata Shree Hotel. "We gave room bookings on first-come, first-serve basis. We don't know if rooms will be booked for a day, as people who don't get tickets on the first day will extend their stay," he pointed out.

"We have been turned away by three hotels near the station as none has a single room. We are students and can't afford posh hotels," rued Jamshedpur undergraduate Sushil Sharma, with five friends at Ranchi station around 11am.

Before reaching Ranchi, their plan of action was getting up at the crack of dawn on Thursday and heading to Dhurwa for tickets. But now, they are not sure whether they will get a hotel bed on Wednesday night.

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Yuvraj Singh was back to his best in his first match for Royal Challengers Bangalore. More »

Time for Chennai to enter familiar cocoon

Time for Chennai to enter familiar cocoon

Chennai have been able to purchase batting replacements for the loss of Michael Hussey and spin reinforcements in the form of Samuel Badree. They appear… More »

Evenly matched Rajasthan and Hyderabad face-off

Evenly matched Rajasthan and Hyderabad face-off

A quality that defines Rajasthan and Hyderabad is consistency. Rajasthan was one among two teams to enjoy complete dominance at home last season. Hyderabad… More »

BCCI to meet before next court hearing

BCCI to meet before next court hearing

The BCCI will hold an emergent working committee meeting on April 20 to discuss the future course of action with regard to the Supreme Court hearing concerning… More »

Kallis, Narine star in Knight Riders’ crushing win

Kallis, Narine star in Knight Riders’ crushing win

An all-round display saw Knight Riders thump Mumbai Indians by 41 runs in the IPL-7 opener. More »

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

"Integrity is non-negotiable..." says the BCCI's interim chief ahead of Season 7 of the tainted league. More »

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

The 38-year-old South African veteran turned it on for Kolkata Knight RIders in the opening match of IPL-7. More »

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

The court emphasised that the tainted administrator can no longer work for the BCCI. More »

Yuvraj happy to play for RCB: Kohli

Yuvraj happy to play for RCB: Kohli

New-look RCB will play their first game of IPL-7 on Thursday. More »

Shane Watson issues moral warning

Shane Watson issues moral warning

'Everyone knows what is right and what is wrong and if you do the wrong thing it will be found out' More »

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Welcome to another season of a league that many watch but few trust. More »

IPL: News Line

IPL: News Line

A round-up of all the news from this season of the IPL. More »

Johnson may quit T20s for Tests

Johnson may quit T20s for Tests

Australia's Mitchell Johnson may quit limited-overs cricket to prolong his test career with an eye on the 2015 Ashes series in England, the fast bowler… More »

Nepal players call off boycott

Nepal players call off boycott

Thaw in relations after formation of an advisory committee that would work in tandem with the Cricket Association of Nepal. More »

There's a lot going on: Fleming

There's a lot going on: Fleming

He experienced anxious moments in the lead-up to the tournament as the courts decided on whether to suspend the franchise, he said, but stressed that the… More »

Latif couldn’t work with tainted players

Latif couldn’t work with tainted players

Former Pakistan cricket captain Rashid Latif said Tuesday he turned down the job of national chief selector because he could not work with ex-players tainted… More »

We are not over-confident: Bailey

We are not over-confident: Bailey

Indian Premier League — George Bailey-led Kings XI Punjab will face Chennai Super Kings on Friday. More »

Big runs expected, with bat and ball

Big runs expected, with bat and ball

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Their main concern, once again, is the fast bowling More »

Taxing issue — BCCI hits roadblock

Taxing issue — BCCI hits roadblock

MoU between BCCI & its units to avoid double taxation delayed after a few decline to share details. More »

Black Caps pick rookie duo for West Indies

Black Caps pick rookie duo for West Indies

New Zealand selectors included two new caps in a 15-man Test squad named Tuesday to tour the West Indies, with injury-hit spinner Dan Vettori's future… More »

The stage is set for IPL-7 to start

The stage is set for IPL-7 to start

The Preview — Defending champions Mumbai Indians take on Kolkata Knight Riders More »

Srinivasan appeals to court to allow BCCI comeback

Srinivasan appeals to court to allow BCCI comeback

He was aggrieved by the allegations against him during the hearing. More »

India: cricket's Brazil

India: cricket's Brazil

They are tough to beat with a big talent base exposed to good facilities. (CYCSPL) More »

Delhi Daredevils say no to gifts

Delhi Daredevils say no to gifts

Franchises are doing their bit to refurbish the image of the tainted league. More »