Poor response from crowd at the start of first ODI

Hyderabad: Blame it on the recent disastrous tour of England or too much cricket being played, the stadium here was only half full at the start of the first ODI between India and England on Friday.

The 40,000-capacity stadium had only around 22,000 spectators when the match started even though India were batting first, which is disappointing in terms of public response for limited overs matches in this part of the world.

The local officials couldn`t remember when was the last time there was such a distinct lack of enthusiasm for an ODI match here at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in Uppal.

"Obviously, the recent performance is the reason for the low spectator turnout. Also, it`s festival time so it`s difficult for people to shell out huge money for a match," a HCA official reasoned avoiding the question whether it`s being an overkill with so many tournaments back-to-back.

Right after India`s tour of England, the Champions League Twenty20 started which went on for another 20 days.

The denomination of tickets started from Rs 300 and the highest denomination available was Rs 10,000. Rs 3000 and Rs 4000 tickets are also available.

But all the higher denomination stands remain empty with only good response coming from those who bought tickets for Rs 300.

One should also factor in the complimentary passes, which were quite a few thousands. If the first day first show is something to go by, its ominous signs unless the Indian team plays really well.


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