The dismal attendance at the third and final One-Day International match between India and Sri Lanka, which took place here on Sunday, raised major issues about the relevance of the 50-over format. Former star Yuvraj Singh also raised reservations over the matter.
After India won the first two games of the severely lopsided series, the third and final game was declared meaningless because India already held an unassailable lead in the series.
The One-Day International World Cup is going to be held in India later this year, however there were a lot of empty seats at the Greenfield International Stadium, so it won’t be a very nice viewing experience.
“… But are you worried about me in this half-empty stadium? Is the end nigh for one day cricket?” Yuvraj, who led India to victory in the World Cup in 2011, posed this question to his followers on Twitter as Shubman Gill got closer and closer to reaching the century mark while batting alongside Virat Kohli, who was still undefeated on a brilliant 166 after 110 balls.
The stadium, which had a full house in its one and only other one-day international (which was a rain-affected match between India and West Indies in 2018), appeared to be nearly deserted as a result of the chilly response from the locals.
The stadium has a capacity of 38,000 people, but there were only roughly 17,000 people there to watch the match on Sunday. This included those who had accreditation, those who were merchants, those who were in corporate boxes, and those who had gratis passes.
The publicity manager for the Kerala Cricket Association, Krishna Prasad, attributed it to a number of issues, one of which was a “lack of enthusiasm” for one-day internationals.
“We never had a stadium that was less than completely full. There are a few explanations for this. These days, one-day internationals don’t seem to garner much interest “Prasad said PTI.
In addition to this, the series was effectively finished in Kolkata when India took an unassailable 2-0 lead, and many people decided not to go to the stadium because India’s opponents were Sri Lanka. The match had ticket prices of 1,000 and 2,000 rupees each respectively.
“During the match against the West Indies, there was not a single ticket that was unsold. The play was interrupted by rain, so we didn’t get to see the whole 50 overs of action, but despite that, the stadium was crowded with spectators “Prasad recalled.
The series has been characterised by low attendance, with the exception of Eden Gardens, which saw more than 55,000 people in attendance. Even in Guwahati, which is notorious for drawing enormous audiences, the venue was not even close to being completely packed.
The approximately 25,000 fans who attended the play at the Barsapara Stadium, which has a capacity of 38,000, were present for the high-scoring encounter that saw India score 373/7.
An official from the Assam Cricket Association (ACA) suggested that it was due to the high cost of tickets and the fact that the match was played during the week.
The costs ranged from 1,500 to 5,000 rupees, with the exception of a few seats that were sold to students for the discounted price of 475 rupees.