World Cup 2019: Hosts in final but packed house a distant dream

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England are firm favourites to end their ICC World Cup 2019 title drought. However, a packed house at the Lord’s on Sunday, July 14, when the hosts take on New Zealand appears a distant dream.

It is not that the home team supporters will not like to attend the final with a hope to see their team rewriting the ICC World Cup history. But they might find it hard to get the one to have access to the match. A rare situation when there are no tickets available and there will be not many people to watch the match. A cricket World Cup final in the land where the sport is believed to be have been invented. With the home team in action.

The awkward equation has emerged from Team India fans’ preparations to see and support the Men in Blue in the final. That were not to be. New Zealand did not just upset India’s game plan in the semi-finals. The result on July 10 in the game forced into the second day due to rain has upset many an equation. ICC, broadcasters, sponsors, commercial partners are being losers to an extent. So do the home team fans.

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An England fan Mark Stephenson has aptly summed up the scenario in a post on his twitter handle @markstephenson2, stating “England in Cricket World Cup final in England once in lifetime event for many of us India fans bought 41% of tickets, by many through 3rd parties, so they can’t be resold on official resale site. Most England fans won’t pay 4k (£4,000) a ticket, so Lord’s will probably he half  empty.”

With a strong likelihood of India making the final, diamond category tickets in grey market were sold for up to £ 4,000 with the lowest denomination bronze category going for £ 2,000 and more. Even at those rates demand outnumbered supply. Economy of the grey market tickets is sent for a toss with India’s elimination.

ICC offers an opportunity to resale the match tickets through its official ticket resale website. But the facility can only be availed by the actual buyers who have acquired the tickets from the ICC. People who have bought tickets in open market at high premium will find it difficult to sell them at face value. The home team fans are certainly not as passionate about the sport as the ones from the subcontinent, for whom the sport has been a proverbial religion.

The World Cup final tickets which a week back sold between ₹ 1.45 lakh and ₹ 3.25 lakh on www.viagogo.com are a day before the match are available from ₹ 38,000 to ₹ 1.55 lakh. That reflects the value India brings to this sport. That also tells what kind of crowd can be accepted at the Lord’s on Sunday when hosts take on the Kiwis, with both the teams aspiring to lift the ICC World Cup trophy for the first time with their nation’s name etched on it.

For the host broadcaster, premium on advertisement spots is gone.

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