THE ICC is trying their best to ensure that the first semifinal of the Champions Trophy on Wednesday is played in front of a full-house at the Swalec Stadium in Cardiff. According to a senior official, nearly 5000 of the 8000 tickets — bought by Indian fans — have now been resold on the eve of the match. Those 8000 tickets, 40 per cent of the total capacity, had originally been bought by Indian fans, who will not be making it to Cardiff with their team playing the other semifinal against Bangladesh the following day at Birmingham.
It was for this very reason, the ICC official revealed, that the world body had set up an online resale platform so that those fans who had hedged their bets on their team reaching either of the two semifinals and bought tickets for both could sell back their tickets. “Already some 5000 for Cardiff and 2000 for Birmingham have already been resold and we’re making all the efforts, except going to the houses of those with tickets and dragging them to the ground, to ensure the match is played out in front of a full-house,” the official quipped.
The ticketing process for the Champions Trophy was two-prong with the first lot being sold through a two-week online lottery where fans from across the world could apply for various matches. It’s learnt that around 200,000 had applied for the India-Pakistan match at Edgbaston and nearly 150,000 for the India-South Africa match at the Oval. It was a staggering number considering the capacity at the two grounds is 25,000 and 26,000 respectively.
The second phase was a more general process through online booking with tickets priced at 5 pounds for children, 15 for students and 30 for adults. The two semifinals and final are learnt to have been sold out months ahead of the tournament with understandably most of the tickets being purchased by fans from the Indian subcontinent. “It’s only obvious that India would have a majority there considering the number of fans they have for cricket not just back in India but here in England. We’ve seen grounds being filled with them for India matches,” the official said.
Hugh Morris, CEO of Glamorgan county cricket club, was quoted in The Times that the ticket situation was something that the county couldn’t have done anything about. “The semi-final has been sold out for several months, People have been trying to get tickets but have been unable to. They were obviously sold before we knew who the semifinalists were going to be,” he was quoted as saying.
Cardiff has seen low attendances through the tournament and the official put it to the bad weather that has affected the Welsh town.
“It’s strange but 8000 seats were empty for matches because people didn’t turn up. We feel it has a lot to do with the threat of rain in the air. So we even set up on the spot ticket sales for matches like New Zealand v Bangladesh but still not many turned up, which was surprising,” the official said.