PALLEKELE (SRI LANKA): The India-Pakistan ODI World Cup clash in Ahmedabad is scheduled on October 14 but flight and hotel rates have already skyrocketed at least by 10 times. But in Sri Lanka, it is a different story. Certain sections of the International Cricket Stadium in Pallekele wore a deserted look.
Even as the two sides were playing an ODI against each other after more than four years, the 2023 Asia Cup match failed to draw the locals here on Saturday. Grass embankment, which was usually occupied, too was not filled completely. The reason? Exorbitant price for tickets.
For example, grass embankment tickets used to cost 1000 Sri Lankan Rupees but for the India-Pakistan match it was priced at about 9600 SL Rupees ($30). Though the organisers here reduced the price to 1500 SLR a couple of days, it failed to lure enough spectators.
The ticket prices were fixed by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), the hosts of the tournament. As per the rates released before the tournament, a ticket of the Grand Stand Top Level A and B was fixed at $300 (96,600 SLR approx). Similarly, the ticket price for A Lower and B Lower was fixed at $125 (40,125 SLR). “Pakistan board set the price after consulting stakeholders, including Sri Lanka Cricket,” a PCB source told this daily. Interestingly, ticket prices of the matches being played in Pakistan did not see such a massive hike.
“Tickets are that expensive only for the India-Pakistan match. For other matches, tickets are cheaper. The rates have been increased, it’s true, but not like this clash,” a source in the know of the development said.
Though by evening there was a slight crowd surge, especially in the embankment, it was not enough to fill the stadium. “Fans from India and Pakistan saved the day for organisers,” added the source.