The first game of the ICC ODI World Cup 2023 between England and New Zealand on October 5 witnessed way less crowds than the expectations which shocked the cricket fans and officials. Here are the 3 reasons why ICC World Cup 2023 Opening Match had less attendance than expected at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.
40,000 free tickets were distributed
40,000 free tickets of the England vs New Zealand match were distributed by Gujarat Bharatiya Janata Party leaders. However, Most of the women who received free tickets didn’t turn up to watch the game.
According to a few reports, these women were not aware that the tickets they got were of the opening match of ICC World Cup 2023. They were rather expecting that the tickets were for the India vs Pakistan game on October 14.
High Ticket Price for a Non-India Match
The ticket prices for the opening match were as high as INR 10,000. While cricket fans did purchase the tickets with lower prices, most of the high price tickets remained unsold.
While the tickets for all 9 games in which the Indian Team will feature have been sold, the higher priced tickets for a Non-India match have remained mostly unsold apart from a few venues like Wankhede Stadium or Eden Gardens where even Non-India matches are getting the hype from cricket fans.
Fans’ interest in ODI Cricket dropping
With the rise in T20I games and T20 leagues across the globe, cricket fans are showing less interest in the ODI format these days. Most of the cricket fans don’t show up in stadiums to watch an ODI game specifically on weekdays.
Images broadcasted on television screens during the ICC World Cup 2023 opening match showed sparse attendance in the world’s largest stadium, with a capacity of over 130,000 seats. Some of the former cricketers too were left shell-shocked with the lack of crowd in the England vs New Zealand clash.
Virender Sehwag and Ravi Shastri expressed their concerns emphasising the diminishing public interest in ODI matches. Sehwag stated that there should be free tickets for school and college children for the non-India games in order to ensure a full house in all the matches.
Ravi Shastri and Michael Atherton opined that the first game should’ve featured Team India as they are the host nation for the World Cup 2023. Participation of the host nation certainly adds that buzz and there’s a build-up which is much-needed during the tournament.