Former England captain Michael Vaughan has termed thousands of unsold tickets at Lord’s for this summer’s opening fixture between England and New Zealand “embarrassing for the game”, and added that had the tickets not been exorbitantly priced, the ‘Home of Cricket’ would be packed to the rafters.
England’s opening Test against the Kane Williamson-led Black Caps — the World Test champions — from June 2, could see thousands of empty seats despite the fact that Ben Stokes begins his new era as the home team skipper and the match being designated as “Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Test”.
A report in The Daily Telegraph has said that 20,000 seats have gone unsold over the first four days, and quoted the Barmy Army as saying that the prohibitively high price of tickets — between 100-160 pounds — “amid the cost of living crisis” was the reason for the sluggish sale.
The report added that “as of Monday evening, Lord’s was still advertising 1800 tickets as available on day one, 2500 on day two, 4600 on day three and 9600 on day four. Usually a Lord’s Test to open the English summer is the hottest ticket in town.”
On Tuesday, Vaughan tweeted, “Lords not being full this week is embarrassing for the game… Try & blame the Jubilee if they want but I guarantee if tickets weren’t 100-160 pounds it would be jam packed!!! Why are they so expensive??? #Lords #ENGvNZ.”
Vaughan’s followers on social media were quick to point out the atmosphere at Lord’s as also the high price of tickets for the opening fixture as the reason for the poor sales.
“Bang average ground with an atmosphere like a morgue. Give me Old Trafford, Edgbaston or Headingley any day,” tweeted a fan.
Another fan wrote, “Michael for once agree with you. I wonder how much the tickets would be for Day 1 of a test match in New Zealand against England. Any kiwis able to shed light on this? #Lords #ripofflords.”
Vaughan later suggested that the unsold tickets should be made available to kids with a parent at subsidised rates.
“How about working out a way to get the tickets remaining at Lords to kids with a parent for 40 pounds to make sure it is full. .. it’s the school holidays and lots of kids will be around to go to the Test match?? @HomeOfCricket??? #Lords #ENGvNZ.”