Not even 4% match ticket have been sold for the third and final Test between India and South Africa at the 39,000 capacity JSCA International Stadium in Ranchi.
But for the 15,000 “complimentary tickets” distributed to security personnel and schools, the threat of the match being played in the empty Jharkhand State Cricket Association stadium loomed large.
India go into the third and final Test against South Africa with an unassailable 2-0 lead.
Until 24 hours before the match to start on Saturday at 9:30 am only 1,500 match tickets were sold out. This happens in the home town of Mahendra Singh Dhoni, former India captain and one of cricket’s biggest icons, despite the tickets being priced at as low as ₹ 250 per day.
The second Test at Pune was also played in front of virtually empty galleries and Virat Kohli had struck his career-best double century and India have won the match an inning margin within four days.
Jharkhand in such a scenario will shy away from hosting another Test match. “Next time, maybe we have to think twice before hosting a Test match. At the same time, we can’t say no also. If the state associations start rejecting Test cricket, the purest form of the game would die. It’s very sad to see empty stands. We have to make certain changes to the Test format,” national daily Indian Express has quoted JSCA president Nafis Khan as saying. He though thinks pink-ball day night Test matches may still be a solution to the probel=
With still one day to go for the Test, hosts JSCA will be looking forward to some response at the five tickets counters opened at the stadium.