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Near-empty stands, lack of buzz for India-Pakistan Asia Cup game raises eyebrows | Cricket News – Times of India


NEW DELHI: A cricket clash between India and Pakistan is not just a showcase of top-quality cricket; it’s an electrifying spectacle where fans transform the stadium into a modern-day Roman colosseum.
However, on Saturday, at the Pallekele Stadium in Kandy, a different atmosphere prevailed as India and Pakistan met for their Asia Cup 2023 Group A match.
While there were enthusiastic fans waving flags, cheering, and applauding, their numbers were not enough to fill the venue to its usual capacity, despite India batting first.
Noticeable gaps dotted the stands and the grassy banks, an unusual sight during an India-Pakistan cricket showdown.
“The tickets are not fully sold, as you can see. In fact, the sale of tickets was on even yesterday evening at Kandy and Colombo. There were not many takers for the top-end tickets in the Grand Stand,” an SLC official told PTI on conditions of anonymity.
The lowest denomination of tickets was $20 (Approximately LKR 6400) in the beginning but it was later slashed to LKR 1500, and LKR 2560 if purchased for both the India matches involving Pakistan and Nepal.
But still there was no real rush for the tickets, and some fans were quite chuffed about it.
“Tickets were readily available. In fact, I got the ticket yesterday in Colombo. We thought tickets will not be available because it is an India vs Pakistan match. But we are not complaining. After all, we can watch an India vs Pakistan match without the frenzy that we often have to go through in India,” said Varun Ghosh, who runs his business in Colombo.

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The officials too have been left a trifle disappointed
“It is a bit surprising. I can understand that people may find the Grand Stand tickets costly (around LKR 64,000) but the Embankment tickets are priced at a good deal for them. It is the weekend too. It could also be because of the prediction for the rain during the match,” the official said.
While the officials were left a bit disappointed, the less than anticipated fan rush has dismayed the hotel owners and tour operators. The rooms were available in all hotels and there was no rush for booking unlike India’s World Cup game in Ahmedabad where hotel tariff has shot through the roof.
“We were getting ready for some big rush by the fans. We have seen the fans’ response to the India vs Pakistan match. But we still have rooms left in our property, and it is the case with many other places too,” said the owner of a prominent chain of hotels here.
(With PTI inputs)





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