The spectacle of a cricket match between arch-rivals India and Pakistan played out in front of empty stands, is a disheartening sight for cricket fans worldwide. This rivalry has historically drawn immense attention and enthusiasm, making it one of the sport’s most anticipated and watched events. However, the ongoing Asia Cup 2023, which features these two cricketing giants, has failed to live up to expectations in terms of attendance.
To address the issue of empty seats and boost attendance, Sri Lanka Cricket took the initiative to revise ticket prices just before the India-Pakistan clash. The revised ticket prices were set at Rs 500 and Rs 1000, representing a significant reduction compared to the previous pricing structure. Despite the price reduction, the revised ticket rates didn’t have the desired impact on attendance.
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I don’t think anyone can afford that much money in Sri Lanka: Muttiah Muralitharan
Former Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan, a revered figure in the cricket world, has voiced his concern about the situation. In his statement, he criticized Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for the high priced structure of the tickets.
“It is the PCB who has decided the prices for these tickets as they are hosting the Asia Cup this year. Sri Lanka is currently going through a financial crisis. The ticket prices are really expensive and they were reduced at the last moment (just before the India vs. Pakistan match in Colombo) but it doesn’t work that way. The ticket prices start from Sri Lankan Rupees 6000 and upwards. If you want to watch the match from the grandstands it is 40000 to 50000 Sri Lankan Rupees which is equivalent to a person’s monthly salary. I don’t think anyone can afford that much money in Sri Lanka,” said Muralitharan as quoted by News18.
Notably, Pakistan are the official host of the Asia Cup 2023.
Murali feels that the people of Sri Lanka want to go and enjoy the match, but they cannot do so because the cost of the tickets is unaffordable.
“In Sri Lanka, whenever there are matches there is always a full house in the stadium. People want to come and watch these matches but they can’t afford such high-priced tickets. Even Sri Lanka vs. Bangladesh game which happened on Saturday didn’t attract many people despite the home team being in action and doing well,” he added.
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