India vs West Indies 1st T20I sees least interest at Eden Gardens

Written by Abhishek Patil

West Indies are the defending World T20 champions, but the first T20 international here on Sunday could well be a damp squib, turnout-wise. According to a Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) insider, the state association is struggling to distribute even the free tickets for this game.

“We have 25,000-odd members; life members, associate members and annual members combined. So far, only a little over 8,000 members have collected their tickets. It won’t be a packed house,” said the CAB functionary.

The CAB has 15,000 free tickets for this game, membership and complimentary passes combined. The quota is yet to be exhausted. As for priced tickets, two days before the T20 series opener, still more than 12,000 tickets are available. “One doesn’t see a turnout of more than 40,000 even if ticket sales pick up the pace over the next two days,” said the CAB functionary. Eden Gardens has a capacity of a little over 66,000.

Ahead of the limited-overs leg of the West Indies’s ongoing tour of India, complimentary passes became a serious bone contention between the Committee of Administrators (CoA) and the staging centres. The state associations had stuck to their guns that they couldn’t restrict their quota of complimentary tickets to just 10 per cent of the total seating capacity of the stadium as per the new BCCI constitution.

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Abhishek Patil