For Eden Test, online sales in pink of health
Low turnout during Test matches in India has been a concern over the last few years. So much so that captain Virat Kohli emphasised the need for five permanent Test centres.
But the numbers for the upcoming Tests versus Bangladesh, in Indore and at the Eden, suggest there won’t be too many empty seats at the venues.
To speak of the first Day-Night pink-ball Test in the country, which begins from November 22, online tickets for the first three days have been encouraging.
“Thirty per cent of the saleable tickets for the first three days that were slotted for online sales have been sold out, while over 3,500 tickets for the fourth day of the Test have also been sold,” Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) secretary Avishek Dalmiya said on Wednesday.
The overall capacity of the Eden is 67,000 — the highest in the country. But looking at the current scenario, it appears not many seats will be left vacant when the historic Test gets underway.
Besides, the CAB has also planned a host of programmes to make the occasion special.
“With the help of Global Cancer Trust, around 20 breast cancer survivors would be present on Day I of the Test and will be felicitated by the CAB… Cancer patients will have the chance to play at Eden Gardens on the third day,” Avishek said.
Even in Indore — venue for the first Test that begins November 14 — 7,000 tickets have already been bought over the past four days.
With still a week to go for the Test, officials of the Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association (MPCA) are hopeful that the figures will keep increasing.
“Indore has hosted only one Test (in 2016 versus New Zealand) before this. There too, the turnout was pretty impressive on all the days. This time, with already 7,000 sold, we do expect a crowd of 20,000 or even 25,000 during the Test match,” a MPCA official told The Telegraph.
“At a stadium where the overall capacity is around 28,000, that’s not bad at all,” the official added.
The weather hasn’t been ideal, though, for the last few days in Indore. “There has been some rain during the past few days. So, under the circumstances, only the weather can play spoilsport.
“But it’s not that bad too. Hopefully, the weather won’t worsen in the coming days,” the official said.
Meanwhile in Mirpur, Bangladesh are gradually getting a feel of the pink ball with stand-in Test captain Mominul Haque, Shadman Islam, Imrul Kayes and Mehidy Hasan Miraz practising at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium.
“I look at this Day-Night pink-ball Test as a wonderful opportunity. If I think too much about it, that will only have an adverse effect on our performance,” Mominul said.