England pace bowler Stuart Broad has said that the Ben Stokes-led team must “play a style of cricket that people want to watch” to attract the supporters. With two days remaining before the start of the first Test of a three-match series against New Zealand, seats were not reserved much at the home of cricket. Notably, more than 16,000 seats are unoccupied across the first four days of the match as well.
However, England’s Test team is in poor form, having won just one of its last 17 matches, but the team has now a new leader Ben Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum as well. Broad, back in England’s squad after missing the recent tour of the Caribbean, said that the ‘style of cricket’ was important to grab fans’ attention.
“To attract the fans, we have to build on that style of cricket and have a style that people want to watch,” Broad said. “Trent Bridge (for the second Test in Nottingham) has sold out for the first three days, so there is still that support for the team. From a player’s point of view, we have to make that commitment that we want to be exciting and draw people through the gates.”
Meanwhile, Marylebone Cricket Club, the owner of Lord’s, has shared that ticket sales remain strong across England’s other international fixtures at the venue this year as well, with the ODI against India being sold out too. However, the Cricket Supporters’ Association named it as the ‘astronomically high’ price of tickets.
“The MCC would have known ticket sales were down weeks ago and so could have opened up the ticket sales with a different pricing structure for this particular game,” the association said. “It isn’t rocket science but this could have been a great opportunity to showcase test cricket to a wider audience at one of the best grounds in the world.”