1st Test: NACC blames pricing for poor attendance

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Birmingham, Aug 3 (IANS) The National Asian Cricket Council (NACC) has blamed excessive ticket prices for the lack of crowd at the ongoing first Test between India and England here.

“The benchmark will be what the attendance is like at Lord’s, Oval and Trent Bridge. But the pricing is a lot higher than previous Pakistan Test matches, so there’s an element of cashing in, perhaps, on Asian communities’ passion for cricket,” NACC chairman Gulfraz Riaz was quoted as saying by the Guardian on Friday.

“From what I understand the prices are almost double of what they were for Pakistan Test matches in some cases. Out of the two communities, the Indian cricket community is a bit more affluent and maybe they were targeted,” he added.

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The opening day of the first Test at the 25,000 capacity stadium on Wednesday here was witnessed by 18,159 spectators. That forced the organisers to reduce ticket prices for Wednesday’s post tea session.

But attendance dipped further on the second day with only 16,754 people present in the stands.

Riaz also opined that a traditional Thursday or weekend start may have helped to attract more people instead of starting the match in the middle of the week.

“I think it would have been better to do it Thursday, Friday and Saturday, definitely to build some momentum. I think the marketing could have perhaps been better and there’s also the genuine question of whether Test cricket is relevant to the South Asian cricket community,” he said.

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–IANS

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