Muttiah Muralitharan Criticizes PCB For Ticket Pricing At Asia Cup 2023
By CricShots - Sep 12, 2023 5:08 pm
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The India-Pakistan cricket rivalry is one of the most anticipated clashes in the sport, usually drawing sold-out stadiums and fervent fans. However, the recent Asia Cup 2023 fixture between the two teams at Colombo’s R Premadasa Stadium had a surprisingly low turnout, with only about 10,000 spectators in a venue that can hold 35,000.

R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo 

The responsibility for setting ticket prices for the Asia Cup 2023 rested with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), as they were hosting the tournament. According to legendary Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan, the ticket prices were exorbitant and unaffordable for a country facing financial difficulties.

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Muttiah Muralitharan expressed his concerns, saying, “Sri Lanka is currently going through a financial crisis. The ticket prices are really expensive, and they were reduced at the last moment, but it doesn’t work that way.” Ticket prices ranged from Sri Lankan Rupees 6,000 and upwards, with grandstand seats costing 40,000 to 50,000 Sri Lankan Rupees, equivalent to a monthly salary for many people in Sri Lanka.

Muttiah Muralitharan
Muttiah Muralitharan

Another factor contributing to the low turnout could have been the weather prediction, as heavy rainfall was expected on the day of the India-Pakistan match. The Asian Cricket Council had the option to move the Super Four games to Hambantota, where the weather forecast was more favorable.

Although they ultimately chose to keep the match in Colombo, the confusion over the venue and the dampening effect of the weather prediction likely discouraged ticket purchases.

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Despite the challenges, the match was eventually completed over two days, with India securing a commanding 228-run victory over their arch-rivals. While the low attendance was unusual for an India-Pakistan clash, it did not diminish the intensity and significance of this fiercely contested rivalry in the world of cricket.