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Asia Cup 2023

Former Sri Lankan cricketer slams PCB, here is why

Former Sri Lankan cricketer slams PCB, here is why

  • Muralitharan criticizes PCB for exorbitant ticket prices in Asia Cup 2023.
  • High costs deter passionate Sri Lankan cricket fans from attending matches.
  • Rain predictions and venue confusion compound attendance woes.

Former Sri Lankan spin maestro Muttiah Muralitharan has raised a critical voice against the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), pointing fingers at exorbitant ticket prices that have contributed to near-empty stadiums during the highly anticipated India and Pakistan clashes in the 2023 Asia Cup.

Muralitharan didn’t mince words in expressing his dismay over the unreasonably high ticket costs, squarely laying the blame on the PCB. He highlighted the financial challenges faced by Sri Lanka and the detrimental effect of these exorbitant prices on cricket enthusiasts.

“The PCB is responsible for setting these ticket prices since they are hosting the Asia Cup this year. Sri Lanka is grappling with a severe financial crisis. The ticket prices were initially sky-high and were only reduced at the eleventh hour, just before the India vs. Pakistan match in Colombo. However, such last-minute changes aren’t effective. Ticket rates begin at Sri Lankan Rupees 6000 and soar from there. For seats in the grandstands, it costs between 40,000 to 50,000 Sri Lankan Rupees, equivalent to an average person’s monthly salary. I doubt anyone in Sri Lanka can afford such exorbitant amounts,” Muralitharan voiced his concerns.

Muralitharan emphasized that Sri Lanka has traditionally boasted a fervent cricket fan base, but the exorbitant ticket prices have kept many enthusiasts away from the stadiums.

“Sri Lanka usually witnesses packed stadiums whenever there’s a cricket match. People have a genuine desire to attend these games, but the prohibitive ticket prices act as a significant deterrent. Even the Sri Lanka vs. Bangladesh game, featuring the home team and performed well, failed to draw a substantial crowd,” he added.

Also, see: Asia Cup 2023 Super 4 match: Where to watch Pakistan vs India in India?

The cricket legend further pointed out that weather forecasts predicting rain for the India-Pakistan Group A match further discouraged ticket purchases.

“The league match between India and Pakistan ended up in a tie due to rain interruptions. Perhaps, it was the rain forecasts that discouraged fans from taking the risk. Additionally, there was some confusion regarding the match venues, switching from Colombo to Hambantota for the Super 4 matches and the final. Such uncertainties naturally deterred people from purchasing tickets,” Muralitharan concluded.

The Asia Cup 2023 faced logistical hurdles initially due to India’s reluctance to play in Pakistan, prompting the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) to implement a hybrid model, with some matches in Pakistan and others in Sri Lanka. However, the steep ticket prices in Sri Lanka posed a significant barrier to fan attendance, even for high-profile India vs. Pakistan encounters.

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