Ticket prices to be slashed for Champions Trophy

August 13th, 2008 - 7:44 pm ICT by IANS  

By K. Hussain
Karachi, Aug 13 (IANS) After experiencing near empty stands for Asia Cup earlier this summer, Pakistan has decided to reduce the prices of tickets for next month’s Champions Trophy. A senior Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) official told IANS Wednesday that the prices of tickets for Champions Trophy matches would be around 30-40 percent less than what it was for Asia Cup.

Pakistan hosted the Asia Cup from June 25 to July 6 with India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, UAE and Hong Kong featuring in it. Tickets prices were raised quite a bit and a seat for Pakistan-India match in a decent enclosure came for around Rs.3000.

Neither of the Asia Cup matches was played in front of a packed crowd in Karachi and Lahore and even keenly watched encounters like Pakistan’s clashes against India and Sri Lanka failed to draw crowds. According to experts, one of the reasons behind the surprisingly low interest in those games was the high cost of tickets.

Shafqat Naghmi, PCB’s chief operating officer, said that for the Champions Trophy, which is to be played in Karachi and Lahore Sept 12-28, the tickets would be more affordable.

“We want to ensure that all Champions Trophy matches attract sizeable crowds and would take all possible measures for it,” he said.

The PCB and the International Cricket Council (ICC) - the event’s organisers - face a big challenge because the entire eight-nation tournament would be played during the fasting month of Ramadan. Normally, international cricket is not played during that part of the year in Pakistan and it remains to be seen whether spectators would fill in the stadium during the tournament.

To facilitate the spectators, it has been decided to time the matches in such a way that the innings break comes at Iftaari time - when one breaks the fast (at dusk).

Efforts are also being made to provide for free Iftaaris (meals) for spectators but implementing such an idea would cost the PCB around 15 million rupees.

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