All eyes are on The Oval at Kennington (UK), as India takes on Australia in the ICC World Test Championship final that kick-started yesterday. Like always, the craze to don a jersey to support the Men in Blue is at its peak. But, ever since it was announced that the official Indian Cricket Team jersey is priced ₹4,999, many are disappointed. A number of cricket fans have begun hunting for rip-offs in Delhi markets, and amid this spike in demand, shopkeepers and wholesalers in the city say they’ve already run out of stock.
“Pichle teen dino mein 150 jerseys bik gayi hain, stock khatam,” informs Shubham Singh, a shopkeeper in Palika Bazar, adding, “Ab sirf teen pieces bache hain aur test match abhi chal raha hai, so I have ordered for 300 pieces more since people are still coming to us asking for India’s jersey.” Chiming in, Jayprakash, a shopkeeper in Sarojini Nagar Market, adds, “In the last two days, about 10-15 shoppers have inquired about Indian cricket team ki jersey, which is why I have had to place an ordered for 100 jerseys. If there is demand for these, why would I lose out on the opportunity to make profits.”
While the markets are getting restocked over the scheduled five days of the test match, the wholesalers are trying their best to serve the demand. Arvind Jain, a sports wholesaler based in Azadpur, says, “During the end of March, jab last ODI match of India vs Australia took place, then 5,000 jerseys ka order diya tha aur match se 1 week pehle sab shopkeepers lae gaye the. This time I’ve ordered for 2,000 pieces more because ab baat finals ki hai aur demand bhi zyada hai.” Also crunching numbers is RK Sharma, a wholesaler in Rohini, who says, “Ek din ka profit ₹45,000 hai! We are getting calls from the morning of June 4 for the new jerseys launched for the Indian cricketers, and 23 different shops and online stores have placed an order of at least 200 pieces each.”
Pratik Doshi, a software engineer and member of Let’s Play Cricket fan club, says, “If we are getting the same design in a replica at 10% of its quoted price of ₹4,999 then why won’t we wait for them!” Adding to this, another cricket fan and owner of Delhi Amateur Cricketers Club, Madhur Prabhakar, says, “I find the replicas are more adept for the Indian market. In some cases, if you are lucky, they even last longer than the originals because the logos and most of its design is knit in the cloth and not printed like how it’s on the original jersey. In fact, 15 of us (club members) have planned to watch the test series after work hours for the next five days at each other’s home, and there’s nothing that feels more real that to watch a cricket match while sporting the blue jersey.”
Those who are not venturing to local markets, are placing orders online. This is evident as some Insztagram thrift store owners, based in the Capital, share how they are finding it difficult to place orders for the new jersey. “I have tried to make a booking with three different wholesalers in my contact list, but have managed to get only 600 pieces with great difficulty,” shares Kritika Kalra, a thrift store owner. And Hriday Bhardwaj, another thrift store owner adds, “IPL se nikle aur WTC mein atke! Pehle uski demands aur ab iski, jismein ki orders are coming in from all across the city. I have had to hire three more people to handle the logistics and delivery to get the jerseys delivered on time.”
Author tweets @maisha_scribbles