Narendra Modi cricket stadium looks and feels well prepared, but it is also unusually quiet on the days of the matches. Despite the buzz, organizers are concerned about echoing silent and vacant stadium vibes at ODI Cricket World Cup 2023. They wonder if seats would remain empty if fewer than 50,000 people attend.
Even the Major games of England vs New Zealand and Australia vs India were seen as not so full of viewers which is an undesirable scenario in Ahmedabad matches. The vibrating energy and passion that cricket fans bring to the game was missing from the stadium.
When the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary Jay Shah was spotted sitting in the stands in the middle of England’s innings, he took it upon himself to fill at least one more seat. As the game progressed, local fans began to fill some seats, although attendance was nowhere near half-full.
During the match commentary, former India captain Ravi Shastri stated that India’s absence in the first match could be a major reason for the seeming lack of interest from local spectators. Indeed, this is the first time in 27 years that the tournament’s opening match has not featured a host nation.
According to a senior party leader, Modi’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s women’s wing sent out messages offering up to 40,000 free tickets to Thursday’s inaugural match. This measure intends to encourage more participation while increasing the range of audience in cricket matches. Not only this, when Modi and his Australian colleague Anthony Albanese met in March while watching an India-Australia Test match in Ahmedabad, schoolchildren were brought in to fill the stands. After both prime ministers left after the first hour, many people fled.
Empty Stadium Stir Disappointment At High-Stakes Matches
The 132,000-capacity facility will host three vital matches of the big tournament, including a showdown between arch-rivals Pakistan and India on October 14, and the final on November 19.
Upset netizens swarmed social media with comments, describing the moments as “unpleasant” and blaming the authorities for not living up to the fans’ expectations. Former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar took to ‘X’, also known as Twitter, to express his feelings over the empty stands during England’s World Cup opener against New Zealand.
Netizens are outraged, writing, “These images look unsightly, with a completely empty stadium just moments before the first ball.” This has sparked widespread anger, with many expressing dissatisfaction with the venue selection. They believe the scenes fall short of their expectations for such an important event of ODI Cricket World Cup 2023.
Some people also stated that the celebration may have been stronger if the organisers had started selling tickets earlier, as people could have travelled from other states. Some even suggested that the World Cup opener should have been held at Wankhede Stadium.
That Vacant Atmosphere At The World Cup 2023
Big areas of empty seats have been the norm in games that do not include India. But, this time their stadiums are offering vacant vibes at the cricket World Cup 2023 tournament which is sparking social media outrage as well.
Danni Wyatt of the England women’s cricket team also asked “Where’s the crowd?” in a post on the social networking platform X. Her Indian counterpart, Jemimah Rodrigues, stated that the crowd is anticipating India’s match against Pakistan on Saturday, October 14.
Virat Kohli took to his Instagram and said “As we approach the World Cup, I would humbly like to let all my friends know to not request me for tickets at all through the tournament. Enjoy from your homes please.”
Reposting her husband Virat Kohli’s Instagram story, Anushka Sharma impishly included: “Please don’t request me to help if your messages get unanswered. Thank you for understanding.”
Fans Are Upset Over Delayed Tickets and Last-Minute Changes
The tournament’s scheduling and ticketing procedures have been criticized by fans. The initial batch of tickets went on sale on August 25, fewer than six weeks before the first match, making travel arrangements problematic. Indian cricket fans who had waited for years to see the sport’s biggest event in their own home said they had given up on their ambition of cheering on their team.
Vipul Yadav, a popular sports enthusiast, called the ticketing process’s management “nonsensical.” He explained, “Nowhere in the world, do you have to struggle so much for a ticket. All this has happened because the ticket release has been done too late”.
Former Indian cricketer Virender Sehwag wrote in reference to India’s Hindi name, “Hopefully after office hours, there should be more people coming in. But for games not featuring Bharat, there should be free tickets for school and college children. With the fading interest in 50 over the game, it will definitely help that youngsters get to experience a World Cup game and players get to play in front of a full stadium.”
No Commencement Event At Cricket World Cup 2023
Another unusual aspect was that the tournament was not officially opened by a head of state in a festive ceremony before the first game, but rather through a captains’ news conference that was conducted the day before. “Captains’ Day kicks off the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 in style,” the ICC declared a day before the first match.
Fans compared this event with the tournament’s previous appearance in the subcontinent in 2011 when the opening ceremony featured performances by some of the region’s biggest music talents.
Prior to departing for India, Pakistan captain Babar Azam stated that despite decades of strained relations between the two countries, he expected Indian supporters to stand behind Pakistan. “Most of our matches are sold out, which means Indian fans are eager to see us and support us in the stadiums,” Azam said in a press conference.
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